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Where the Wealthy Industrialists Are

There are now 18, 000 people with US$100 million or more in disposable assets in Southeast Asia, China and Japan, according to Knight Frank’s estimates – more than North America, which has 17, 000, and Western Europe with 14, 000. Still, these ultra-high net worth individuals are not completely confident that their large masses of wealth will be completely unaffected by turbulence in the world economy and changing political situations, according to surveys conducted by Knight Frank. In Singapore, the wealthy are most afraid of the impact of the global financial crisis on their wealth, but those in Hong Kong are more worried about the devaluation of currency and those in India are most worried about domestic inflation. With its high density of Louis Vuitton boutiques, luxury nightclubs and multi-million dollar property, Singapore is also growing in importance as a city for the world’s high net worth individuals. Surveys asking über-wealthy individuals to rank cities in terms of "economic activity, political power, quality of life, knowledge and influence" found that Singapore was the fifth most important city for the world’s wealthiest individuals. Here, the city-state was beaten by London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris, indicating that the world’s most global cities continue to lure the rich. According to Knight Frank, even respondents in Asia-Pacific put London and New York ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore – an indication that economic growth may not be the most important factor when a high-net worth individual chooses his city of residence.

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