China near the ‘1 million millionaires’ mark

April 13, 2011 in Doing busines with China, News and updates

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China now has 960,000 millionaires with personal wealth of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) or more, a rise of 9.7 percent year on year, according to the latest research on the mainland’s high net worth market.

The survey, in the GroupM Knowledge - Hurun Wealth Report 2011, found that rising property prices and a fast-growing GDP have been the key drivers for personal wealth.

Fifty-five percent of Chinese millionaires derived their wealth from private businesses while 20 percent are property investors who have ridden the rise in real estate values. About 15 percent are focused stock market investors, while the remaining 10 percent are high-earning salaried executives.

In 2009 there were 825,000 millionaires in China, a figure which grew to 875,000 last year.

Although the Chinese government has tried to curb property speculation and control rampant housing prices, “the overall confidence of China’s millionaires in the property sector and China’s overall economy remains very high,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Report.

Of the 960,000 millionaires, 60,000 were 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. According to Hurun, 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.

This suggests there is still “a great deal of hidden wealth in the Chinese economy,” said Mr Hoogewerf.

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