S'pore had 3,732 people with at least US$30 million in 2020 despite pandemic, up by 345

Singapore conducive for the rich.

Belmont Lay | March 05, 2021, 04:01 AM

The number of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI) in Singapore grew during the 2020 pandemic.

The number of ultra wealthy people here rose by 345 to 3,732 in 2020, a 10.2 per cent increase, The Wealth Report 2021 put out by Knight Frank said.

This figure refers to the UHNWIs' population living within each country.

The UHNWIs have at least US$30 million (S$39.9 million), including their primary residence.

The 2021 edition of The Wealth Report looked at figures for the 2019 to 2020 period.

Singapore is ranked third among the top 10 countries with the fastest-growing UHNWI populations.

Of the top 10 locations with fast-growing populations of UHNWIs, seven were in Asia -- with South Korea at the peak with a growth rate of 22 per cent.

More than 520,000 people worldwide with at least US$30 million

The number of UHNWIs rose by 2.4 per cent globally last year -- bringing the total of these millionaires and billionaires to more than 520,000.

A year earlier in 2019, the rate of increase of UHNWIs was three times more.

China in the lead minting ultra wealthy

But 2020 was still a good year for some.

China produced the most UHNWIs with 9,594 UHNWIs minted. Its total UHNWIs is 79,426.

The U.S. had 6,080 more UHNWIs, bringing its total to 180,060 -- the most in the world.

Japan had 1,199 more UHNWIs, as its ultra wealthy population ballooned to 14,755.

Overall, Singapore was ranked eighth with a UHNWI growth rate of 10 per cent.

Why more ultra-wealthy people in Singapore?

Singapore continues to attract new wealthy individuals due to its stability, amid geopolitical tensions in other parts of the region and the world, Leonard Tay, Knight Frank Singapore's head of research said.

He also said Singapore is smaller in terms of UHNWI population when compared to other Asian countries, which results in a higher percentage increase with a decent growth due to the lower base.

Knight Frank said the Asia-Pacific's UHNWI population is predicted to grow by about 33 per cent to 168,567 in the five years to 2025 -- faster than the global average (27 per cent) and North America (24 per cent).

In Singapore, the ranks of the ultra-wealthy will go up by 31 per cent between 2020 and 2025 to 4,888.

The report also ranked Singapore as the fourth most desirable place for wealthy Asian homebuyers, behind the U.S., the UK and Australia.

Japan is in fifth place.

Home buyers from India, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea ranked Singapore in their top five list of locations when considering investment homes abroad.

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