Millionaires grow in S’pore

Singapore, October 11:

The ranks of millionaires in Singapore have swelled, as the city-state now has the highest concentration of affluent people in Asia, a survey stated today.

The Merrill Lynch-Capgemini report found that there were 55,000 people with net assets above the $1 million mark last year, a 13.4 per cent rise over the previous 12 months. The swell was attributed to the stock market boom.

The figures published in The Straits Times work out to a concentration of 1.48 per cent of the adult population, far higher than the global average of 0.22 per cent and Asia’s average of 0.1 per cent.

Asia’s millionaires grew by 7.3 per cent last year to 2.4 million people, with a combined wealth of $7.6 trillion.

The report forecasts the figure will reach $10.6 trillion by 2010. With 1.4 million millionaires, Japan has a concentration of 1.29 per cent. China, with 320,000 millionaires, has a concentration of 0.03 per cent.

“The solid stock-market performance and economic growth were the key drivers of wealth creation in Singapore,” Tho Gea Hong, Merrill Lynch’s Singapore market director, was quoted by the Straits Times as saying.