Sunrise over Hong Kong’s Sky 100 Observation Deck.
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Asia’s ultra-high-net-worth population declined by about 10.9% last year, marking the largest regional drop in the world, a report by data firm Altrata showed.
“Asia’s ultra wealthy population fell by 11% in 2022, the most of any region, to 108,370 individuals,” the report stated, attributing the fall to China’s strict Covid lockdown, the war in Ukraine, as well as disrupted regional supply chains.
Tech-heavy markets like South Korea and Taiwan bore the brunt of the compromised exports and consumption that arose from the war, the global data firm noted.
Ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals are those with a net worth of more than $30 million, according to the study.
The combined net worth of Asia’s super rich population was at $12.13 trillion compared with Europe’s $11.73 trillion, the report showed.
Europe recorded the second-worst regional performance, with a 7.1% fall to 100,850 high-net worth individuals. The “direct fallout” from Russia’s invasion on Ukraine was substantial, the report said.
Inflationary shocks from Moscow weaponizing energy supplies, which Europe is reliant on, heightened risk aversion and the disruption of supply chains all led to the decline.
North America, the world’s largest ultra wealth market with a combined net worth of $16.47 trillion, posted a 4% fall to 142,990 individuals, the report showed.
The decline was largely owed to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate-hiking cycle, it said. The Fed started its aggressive rate hike campaign in March 2022, as inflation climbed to its highest levels in 40 years.
The Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean saw strong gains in the number of UHNW individuals. The Middle East registered a 15.7% jump in its ultra-rich population — largely attributed to a commodity price spike, while Latin America and the Caribbean saw a 17.5% increase.
“With the largest wealth markets all major commodity exporters, regional asset portfolios were buoyed by improved terms of trade from higher prices,” the report said.
Out of the top 10 UHNW locations cited in the report, which include the U.S., China, and Hong Kong, only India saw a rise in UHNW individuals.
“India was among the world’s fastest-growing economies in 2022, which underpinned a 3% rise [in] its UHNW population,” Altrata highlighted. India’s economy grew 7.8% in the June quarter, marking the fastest pace of growth in a year.
Globally, there was a more than 5.4% drop in world’s ultra wealthy population — the first annual decline in four years.
“A generational surge in inflation triggered aggressive monetary policy tightening for the first time in more than a decade,” Altrata said, adding that it led to a reassessment of capital market risk and returns.
Despite the recent volatility, Altrata expects an increase in the global ultra wealthy population over the next five years, from 395,070 to 528,100, citing notable increases from Asia. North America is also expected to maintain its position as the world’s leading super wealthy region.