China's super rich look to boost financial investments

China's super rich look to boost financial investments
Renminbi (RMB) banknotes.

The majority of China's billionaires have increased or maintained their financial investments but have shown less interest in putting their money into traditional industries, according to a report.

It said that more than 50 per cent of respondents will increase investment in the financial sector and 43 per cent will maintain the current level of their financial investments.

It also found that more than one-third of Chinese high net worth individuals surveyed said they expect to increase their investment in innovative industries such as information technology, biotechnology and alternative energy.

High net worth individuals are defined as having investable assets of more than 10 million yuan (S$2.17 million).

There were more than 1 million such individuals in China last year-double the figure for 2010-according to the China Private Wealth Report 2015 released by China Merchants Bank and management consultants Bain & Co.

Less than 10 per cent of these individuals expect to increase their investments in traditional manufacturing industries, the report found.

The report, which covers about 2,800 Chinese high net worth individuals, suggests that the country's private wealth market will continue to grow in the near future and is projected to reach 129 trillion yuan this year.

This market saw 16 per cent annual growth between 2012 and 2014, reaching 112 trillion yuan last year, the report said.

The accelerated growth of innovative industries is driving the emergence of a new rich group-young Chinese under age 50 who have accumulated their wealth rapidly in recent years.

Alfred Shang, a Bain partner and co-author of the report, said, "Among the newly rich, we are seeing a more aggressive investment style, an openness toward alternative investments and increased focus on wealth creation-second only to wealth preservation as their primary wealth management objectives."

High net worth individuals have shown stronger interest in investing overseas. Nearly 40 per cent of them and almost 60 per cent of the ultrarich said they have such investments-increases of 19 per cent and 33 per cent from 2011.

With its convenient account services, low taxation and proximity to the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong is the top region for overseas investment, followed by the United States and Australia.

Stocks, fixed-income products and properties are the most popular overseas investment products for China's super rich.

Long Yue, an alias for a billionaire in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region who declined to use his real name, said he invested mainly in the financial sector last year, including fixed-income company bonds, properties and overseas education products.

"Cross-border financial investment channels are becoming more available and convenient," he said. Long also put money into venture capital investment in the domestic market. He said the aim of his investment is to ensure the safety, steady growth and global spread of his portfolio.

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