Wide variations in confidence among East Asia’s wealthy

28 May 2012

A survey of Asia’s fast-growing population of wealth creators suggests that residents of Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are much less bullish than the nouveau riche of China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

The FuturePriority report by Scorpio Partnership summarises the views of 2,800 affluent individuals (average wealth USD1.4 million) who took part in an online survey in October-November 2011.

In the last couple of years, it found, growing numbers of Asia’s entrepreneurs have been reporting rising wealth, while most were even more confident about 2012. However, the sample’s ‘wealth confidence index,’ as measured by Scorpio, actually declined by more than ten between 2010 and 2011. Confidence had weakened in every single country except Indonesia, where strong gains in the last two years have fostered a strongly bullish attitude in the business community.

The message from Hong Kong’s wealthy was one of ‘canny caution,’ says Scorpio. Confidence for 2012 was 53 points behind that of the Indonesians. Moreover, residents of the established money hubs of Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan had much lower hopes of future growth, expecting their current wealth to grow by ‘only’ 150 per cent within ten years. Respondents in all three countries reported sluggish gains in 2011 and only wary optimism for the year ahead.

By contrast, wealthy inhabitants of the largest economies – China, India and South Korea – are aiming to multiply their current wealth threefold, while those in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are hoping to boost their assets by a factor of 3.4 in ten years.

‘These results may seem surprising given that the world is turning its attention to Asia as the growth region of the future’, says Scorpio. But, it says, Asia’s wealth creators are themselves looking with some alarm at the rest of the world: ‘What they see seems to be checking their optimism for the future.’

Nearly all of those sampled believed the best investment prospects for the next five years were in Asia itself. Most of those sampled also expected to see an economic bounce-back for Europe and North America, but not to the extent that these regions would eclipse Asia’s rise.



Scorpio Partnership (PDF 3.2Mbyte)




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