One in seven a millionaire in HK - and many got rich on wages

Top News | Tracy Hu 23 Mar 2018

One in seven Hongkongers have at least HK$1 million in liquid assets, a study found, and more than half of the city's 68,000 individuals who have at least HK$10 million are salaried employees.

The millionaires said 55 percent of their money came from their wages and the rest was from investments or inheritance, according to a Citibank Hong Kong survey.

In contrast, most of their mainland millionaire counterparts said 55 percent of their wealth came from running a business.

The number of people with at least HK$10 million is a 15 percent year-on-year increase - from 59,000 the previous year. The Hong Kong population was 7.4 million at the end of last year, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

Affluent salaried mainlanders also have a much higher interest in starting a business, the report said.

Liquid assets include deposits and investments in mutual funds, stocks and bonds.

The average age of Hong Kong multimillionaires is 58, while it is 47 for mainlanders.

Kit Chow, vice president and head of research and insight country marketing at Citibank Hong Kong, said only a few of them are under 40.

Lawrence Lam Chi-kong, managing director and head of retail banking at Citibank global consumer banking, expects the number of multimillionaires to grow this year amid a bullish property market.

The affluent classes in Hong Kong and the mainland have similar asset allocations - with property making up over 70 percent of their portfolios. It is in line with property prices surging by 11 percent in 2015 and by 38 percent in 2017.

Wealthy Hongkongers own 3.2 properties on average, while affluent mainlanders own 3.7 properties each. Rich Hongkongers show a much higher interest in purchasing offshore properties - 39 percent of them have done so.

Hong Kong's living environment and education system are the two aspects of life with which more affluent locals feel unsatisfied, while the medical system is the key concern among mainlanders.

Also, 17 percent of millionaires in Hong Kong have a plan to migrate to other countries compared with 26 percent of those from the mainland.

Australia is the favorite destination of mainlanders and Hongkongers. Hong Kong is No 2 on the list of mainlanders. The report surveyed 4,139 Hong Kong residents and 200 mainlanders.

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