No stop to rise of Asian millionaires: report

The study on high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) -- defined as anyone withinvestable assets of at least one million US dollars -- was issued by MerrillLynch Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm Capgemini.

"Moving forward, China and India will lead the way in the region with economic expansion and HNWI growth likely to keep outpacing more developed economies," the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report said.

It cited figures first released in a global study in June that showed the region's millionaires numbered three million in 2009, up 25.8 per cent from the previous year and surpassing that of Europe for the first time.

Also last year, Asia-Pacific millionaires' collective wealth totalled nearly 10 trillion US dollars, which was worth more than the combined riches of their European counterparts for the first time, it said.

"The region holds much promise and is a strategic focus for every wealth management firm with global aspirations," said Wilson So, regional wealth management head at Merrill Lynch.

Australia, China and Japan accounted for 76.1 percent of the region's millionaires and 70 per cent of its wealth last year, the report said.

The number of millionaires in Hong Kong rose 104.4 percent in 2009 year on year, the fastest growth in the world.

Their combined wealth also soared 108.9 per cent, the biggest jump globally, the report said.

"Wealth accumulation in Hong Kong resumed last year, as its economy and assets benefited from rising investments from China," So said.

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