Wednesday, April 13, 2011

China Now has Close to One Million Millionaires

While difficult to nail down an exact per capita income figure for the average working Chinese citizen, most sources offer a figure in the $2500-$3300 range.  However, as the country enjoys rapid growth a subset at the top of the income structure is seeing outsized gains.  Indeed, China appears close to having one million millionaires per China Daily; mostly concentrated in the capital and prosperous east coast.  Of the estimated 960,000, about 60,000 are estimated to be in the super elite - with $15M+ of personal wealth.  Of course this in a country with a population in excess of 1.3 billion.  And it only focuses on the mainland - I am sure some ultra rich sit in Hong Kong.

Also interesting is the average age is a very young 39 years old, and 30% are female.

(for comparison sake, based on what I am finding on the interwebs - there are just under 1 million Americans with net worth of $5M+, and 3 million at $1M+)

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  • China is closing in on having 1 million millionaires.  According to an annual wealth report released on Tuesday, the mainland has 960,000 millionaires with personal wealth of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) or more.   That is up 9.7 percent year-on-year, said the GroupM Knowledge - Hurun Wealth Report 2011.  
  • Rising property prices and a fast-growing GDP have been the key drivers for the rising number of Chinese millionaires, according to the report. It found that 55 percent of Chinese millionaires derived their wealth from private businesses, and 20 percent are property speculators who have ridden the fast hike in home prices. About 15 percent are stock gurus, while the remaining 10 percent are high-earning salaried executives.  (no breakdown could be found on how many were investment bankers!)
  • This is the third year of the report, written by publishing and events institute Hurun Report in cooperation with think tank GroupM Knowledge.  In 2009 there were 825,000 such millionaires while last year the number had grown to 875,000. 
  • Housing prices rose across the country by 13.7 percent in 2010 according to government statistics, with luxury property prices rising even faster.   High-end property prices in China's leading financial metropolis Shanghai, for instance, grew 21 percent last year, according to figures from UK-based Knight Frank, one of the world's largest commercial and residential estate agents. 
  • "For most luxury brands, the Chinese luxury consumers are now No 1: either representing the biggest market share or the fastest-growing," he added. 
  • Of the 960,000 millionaires, 60,000 have been identified as China's super rich with 100 million yuan or more in wealth, up 9 percent year-on-year.  Beijing led the way with 10,000 residents boasting 100 million yuan or more, followed by Guangdong province with 9,000 and Shanghai with 7,800.  The three places also led in the number of millionaires with wealth of 10 million yuan or more. 
  • According to the report, Chinese millionaires average 39 years old, a full 15 years younger than their Western counterparts. Thirty percent of the millionaires are female, the same as last year. 
  • The report also put the number of China's billionaires at 4,000, but only a third were on the Hurun China Rich List 2010.  "(It suggests) there is still a great deal of hidden wealth in the Chinese economy," said Hoogewerf.

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