Ever wondered what your average high roller in Hong Kong is worth or what their background is likely to be? New data from Singapore-based research firm Wealth-X has shed some light.
The average ultra-high-net-worth individual in Hong Kong is 57 and has $150 million in net worth, with $34 million in liquid assets, according to Wealth-X, which puts the total UHNW net worth in the city at around $480 billion.
A quarter of these ultra-wealthy are over 70, with an average net worth of $100 million, pointing to a “significant phase of wealth transfer” taking place in the next 15-20 years, says Mykolas Rambus, CEO of Wealth-X. That suggests the 7% of the UHNWIs in Hong Kong who are under 40 will become substantially richer when it happens.
As for how the city’s rich made or store their money, a relatively high proportion of that net worth (9.1%, $43 billion) is in real estate, and 22% of the Hong Kong UHNW population is in finance/banking.
“Real estate continues to dominate Hong Kong UHNWIs’ luxury portfolios,” says Rambus. “The continuing allure of property is very much attributable to wealth creation, particularly for Hong Kong, where real estate has been the source of wealth for many of Hong Kong’s storied billionaires that include Li Ka Shing, Lee Shau Kee and Cheng Yu Tung.”
Meanwhile, one in four Hong Kong UHNWIs is female, while 2.3% of Hong Kong UHNWIs are billionaires, with males outnumbering females by a ratio of 6:1.
The majority of their wealth (57%) is self-made, with 21% being a combination of inheritance and self-made, and 22% purely inherited.
The three universities with the largest number of UHNW alumni in Hong Kong are Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s ultra-wealthy show some characteristics similar to those of rich individuals in the Middle East, whose average individual net worth is $151 million, average age is 56 and who are also most likely to be in finance/banking.
Middle Eastern UHNWIs are also overwhelmingly likely to be married (93%), with 57% of their wealth being self-made.
However, a couple of interesting differences between Hong Kong and Middle Eastern ultra-wealthy include that average liquidity for the latter is significantly higher, at $46 million, and, perhaps not surprisingly, 94% of Middle Eastern UHNWIs are male.
“The typical Middle Eastern UHNWI is not an oil baron,” notes Michel Nassif, Wealth-X’s director of business development, Middle East and Africa. “He or she is most likely to represent the finance and banking sector or an industrial conglomerate.”
Rambus says: “With an average liquidity higher than that of the average US UHNWI, there is considerable room for greater luxury spend by Middle Eastern UHNWIs.
“Our analysis shows that wealth creation is largely concentrated in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,” he adds, “with a new generation of increasingly younger male and female UHNWIs emerging.”