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Another 20,000 set to hit rich list by year end

CHINA is expected to see another 20,000 high net worth individuals with an investable asset of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) each this year despite the economic slowdown, a report said yesterday.

The country is forecast to have 320,000 high net worth individuals with an investable asset of more than 10 million yuan each by the end of this year, a rise of 6 percent from a year ago, said the report by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co, a consulting firm.

"China's private wealth market is still enjoying a big potential for growth despite the complex external and internal economic environment," the report said. The super rich are expected to have a combined investable asset of 9 trillion yuan by the end of 2009, a 7 percent increase from a year ago, the report added. Investable assets are generally defined as liquid assets, such as cash, which one can invest immediately.

Last year, almost 10,000 individuals in China had investable assets of more than 100 million yuan each.

"The high net worth individuals are more conservative after the outbreak of the financial crisis," the report said.

About 80 percent of 700 respondents said they prefer medium risk or conservative investment options.

"The financial crisis taught China's high net worth individuals a good lesson," said an unnamed private banker with an overseas bank in Shanghai. "They are more willing to accept pro-conservative investment options than before the financial crisis."

They are adapting a wait-and-see attitude, most opting for high liquidity fixed-income products whose returns are slightly more than bank deposits.

The report said they could be found mostly in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.


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