June 20, 2012 / 8:18 AM / 8 years ago

Singapore overtakes Hong Kong as home to Asia's wealthy

SINGAPORE, June 20 (Reuters) - Singapore overtook Hong Kong as home to Asia’s wealthy last year as declining stock markets hit the former British territory a lot harder than its Southeast Asian rival, according to Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Hong Kong, whose stock market capitalisation slumped 16.7 percent last year, saw a sharper drop in the ranks of people with more than $1 million to invest as a larger proportion of that wealth was locked in equity.

Southeast Asia also shows stronger signs of resilience to global turbulence than the rest of Asia as buoyant domestic spending offsets struggling exports.

The number of high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong fell 17.4 percent to 83,600 last year, compared with a decline of 7.8 percent to 91,200 people in Singapore, RBC Wealth’s head of emerging markets Barend Janssens told reporters in Singapore on Wednesday.

Hong Kong had leapfrogged Singapore in 2010 after falling behind in 2008.

Faster-growing Asia had for the first time more millionaires than North America last year, according to Capgemini and RBC Wealth’s latest world wealth report released on Tuesday.

The report did not provide estimates on the number of wealthy people in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Singapore, home to more Indonesian millionaires than Jakarta, has in recent years also attracted many rich people from around the world, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin who earlier this year gave up his U.S. citizenship.

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