Hong Kong's ranks of millionaires rose 22 percent in 2013, but one in 10 of its wealthy are considering emigration.
The number of people with more than 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($128,756) in liquid assets in the form of deposits and mutual fund investments, stocks and bonds, reached 732,000 last year, a 22 percent increase from the previous year, while average liquid asset size shrank by 30 percent to 3.1 million Hong Kong dollars, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
But, according to a survey from Citibank, 9 percent of Hong Kong’s wealthy are hoping to leave. Australia, Canada and the United States are the most popular destinations, the report said. The number isn’t concerning, however, said Priscilla Ng, the marketing director at Citibank global consumer banking in Hong Kong.
“The actual number [of those who wish to emigrate] should be lower [than 9 percent], but I don’t think this is a high number,” Ng said.
About 49,000 (6.4 percent) of those millionaires in Hong Kong hold more than 10 million Hong Kong dollars in liquid assets. This group shows even more desire to emigrate, at 14 percent, than the millionaires with less than 10 million Hong Kong dollars in assets.
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Older millionaires also showed a stronger interest in emigration, with 13 percent of the 40 to 59 age group expressing the intention compared to only 3 percent of the 21 to 39 age group. But only 5 percent of the millionaires over 60 are planning to live abroad.
Of those who express interest in emigrating, 26 percent chose Australia as their desired destination, while Canada, the United States and Taiwan each received 23, 22 and 22 percent, respectively, of the votes, according to the South China Morning Post.
29 percent of the millionaires said they hold offshore investments, as Hong Kong investors tend to diversify their holdings to different countries. Mainland China is a top destination for Hong Kong investment, Ng said.