SINGAPORE - The number of millionaires in Singapore and their combined wealth increased last year but at a slower pace than almost everywhere else in the region.
Only Taiwan and Japan were slower than Singapore when it came to adding to the ranks of the rich and their combined wealth, according to a new wealth report.
It said the laggard pace here was due largely to "paltry" economic growth and softening real estate prices, which offset the standout performance of the share market. The Straits Times Index gained 26.4 per cent last year but real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.3 per cent, down from 5.2 per cent in 2011, against a tough backdrop of weak export demand, while real estate prices were hit by a slew of cooling measures.
Even so, the number of high-net-worth individuals climbed 10.3 per cent to 101,000 last year while their combined wealth increased 11.5 per cent to US$489 billion, according to the report from RBC Wealth Management and Capgemini.
A high-net-worth individual is defined as a person with at least US$1 million (S$1.25 million) in investable assets, excluding primary residence, collectibles and consumables.
"Singapore's equity market was one of the best performers last year. Overall, Singaporeans allocate about a quarter of their assets to equities and this led to the growth in terms of (the wealthy) population and (their) wealth," said Mrs Claire Sauvanaud, vice-president of Capgemini, Asia Pacific, yesterday.
Singapore's performance was put in the shade by Hong Kong and India, the two biggest wealth gainers in the Asia-Pacific.