LuxuryAsia's super-rich are getting richer, as the number of UHNWIs and wealth hubs build up across the region, reveals The Wealth Report 2022 by Knight Frank.

Crazy rich days ahead for Asia's billionaires

Asian is steadily climbing up the global wealth ranks, and is set to surpass Europe as the second biggest wealth region by 2026.
Asian is steadily climbing up the global wealth ranks, and is set to surpass Europe as the second biggest wealth region by 2026. Photo Credit: Getty Images/razihusin
Wealth hubs in the making

These countries are expected to see the largest proportional growth in UHNWIs population from 2021-2016:

1. New Zealand: 270%

2. Singapore: 268%

3. Chinese mainland: 256%

4. Czech Republic: 228%

5. Ireland: 209%

6. Australia: 194%

7. Poland: 190%

8. Israel: 189%

9. Sweden: 184%

10. Malaysia: 183%

While the pandemic has undeniably caused a lot of hardships for many people and sectors, the top end of the population witnessed a record rise in wealth.

In 2021, the world saw a 9.3% increase in UHNWIs (Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals — those with net assets of US$30 million or more, including their primary residence), following growth of 2.4% in 2020, according to The Wealth Report 2022 by Knight Frank.

This was led by North America (+12.2%), followed by Australasia (+9.8%), Russia & CIS (+11.2%), Middle East (+8.8%), Latin America (+7.6%), Europe (+7.4%) and Asia (+7.2%). Africa was the only region to see a decline (-0.8%) in its UHNWI population.

The top five gainers for UHNWIs, in absolute terms, were the US, the UK, France, Japan and China. New York retains its crown as the world’s wealth capital, with more UHNWIs choosing to reside there than in any other city. Tokyo and Paris are runners up and all three saw their wealthy populations increase in 2021, up by 11%, 9% and 8.5% respectively.

In Asia, the number of UHNWIs increased by 7.2% in 2021. Meanwhile in Singapore, the ultra-wealthy population grew 8.6% to 4,206 in 2021, up from 3,874 in 2020. There are now 28 billionaires in Singapore as of 2021, compared to the 25 in 2020.

Between 2021 and 2026, Knight Frank forecasts that the global UHNWI population will rise by a further 28%. The 10 years to 2026 are set to see global UHNWIs more than double in numbers — from 348,355 to 783,671.

By 2026, Asia will surpass Europe as the second largest regional wealth hub, with Singapore projected to witness a 268% growth in its UHNWI population to around 6,000.

However, the 10-year growth is led by Australasia. The region’s UHNWI population, led by New Zealand (from 1,249 to 4,618), is expected to more than triple by 2026.

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