The year of the “Green Wooden Goat” will officially kicks off on Thursday this week. The Lunar New Year is indeed the most important festival to the Chinese. Not only the celebration is about ushering in luck and fortune, it’s also about showing off one’s wealth to everybody – friends, family members, neighbours, relatives and whatnot. Like it or not, the Lunar New Year acts like annual wealth report.
According to Wealth-X’s latest report, this year would be a great year to the Chinese UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth) individuals. The UHNW – those with at least US$30 million (£19.4 million; RM106 million) in assets – is predicted to grow by 5.2% this year, generating another cool US$80 billion (£52 billion; RM284 billion) in China. Last year alone, the country’s UHNW’s wealth stood at an astonishing US$1.6 trillion (£1 trillion; RM5.7 trillion).
The last year of the Goat started on February 1st 2003 and ended January 21st 2004. During that year, the UHNW population grew by 12% and the combined wealth of this population increased by a staggering 20%, a faster growth rate than any other year since 1992. That same year, however, also saw the onset of the SARS epidemic, as well as ongoing turmoil in the Middle East.
Does a person with Goat Zodiac any special from others? Sort of – 8.4% of the world’s UHNW population is born in the year of the Goat, making it the fourth most common Zodiac sign among the world’s ultra wealthy – behind Rabbit, Horse and Monkey. So, if you were born as a “Goat” – the eighth sign of the Chinese Zodiac – your chances of making it big is obviously better. Otherwise, you may wish to be born as rabbit, horse or monkey.
The goats are said to be “determined” and “dependable” with specific interests in golf and skiing, and almost half of all Goat UHNW individuals located in the United States and only 7% based in China. Goat UHNW individuals are most likely to work in finance, banking & investment, with 19% of them involved in this sector. However, Goat UHNW individuals have the lowest proportion of fully self-made UHNW individuals, with only 61%.
Currently, 55% of China’s UHNW population is based in China’s four first tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Although the mega-rich Chinese UHNW individuals spent, on average, US$1.3 million on luxury – from travel to apparel and jewellery – surprisingly only 20% of that spending occurred within mainland China. This year, they’re expected to spend 25% of their wealth in the country.
As China’s private banking sector emerges and cooperation between the stock exchanges of Shanghai and Hong Kong continues to grow, Wealth-X predicts to see an increase in the number of Chinese UHNW individuals’ private businesses going public. In this Year of the Goat, the Chinese may see an additional US$45 billion held in public companies, compared to just US$20 billion in private companies.
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