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BANKING

One region, many markets: where Asia's wealthy put their money

Private banks look to stay ahead of the herd 

Capital protection: Asian clients’ eternal theme

The opportunity for private banking in Asia is vast. All of the major themes at play in Asia today – the emerging middle classes of India and China, the growth of intra-Asian trade, the steady emergence of private sector companies – have a knock-on effect on top-end wealth creation. The market is big and getting bigger.

Every year consultants Capgemini produce an Asia-Pacific wealth report with Merrill Lynch, a detailed study of the region’s affluent, and the way they spend their gains.

In 2006, it found that five Asia Pacific markets ranked among the global top 10 fastest-growing high-net-worth individual populations, including the two leaders, South Korea and India.

There are 2.4 million individuals in Asia Pacific with more than $1 million in financial assets, a 7.3% increase on the previous year. The total wealth of these people is $7.6 trillion; China and Japan account for 65% of it. The region, which has about 60% of the world’s population, today has only 27.1% of the global high-net-worth population, and 22.9% of the wealth, but that just demonstrates the potential for growth.

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