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July 19, 2018

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Study: Booming affluent class optimistic

CHINA’S rising affluent population — expected to hit 280 million by 2020 — showed more financial confidence despite economic headwinds, a survey showed yesterday.

The 2018 China Rising Affluent Financial Well-Being Index, which gauges financial confidence among those earning between 125,000 yuan and 1 million yuan (US$18,601-US$140,000) annually, increased 2.17 points from last year to 68.2.

The survey was conducted by Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, with international financial sevices provider Charles Schwab & Co Inc.

It assessed the sentiment, opinions and investment behavior of more than 2,600 people in nine major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

The increasing confidence among the affluent population — forecast to account for 25 percent of consumption by 2020 — comes despite global trade tensions, stock market fluctuations and China’s far-reaching regulatory de-risking campaign.

“Financial de-risking and market opening-up are having a positive effect on China’s rising affluent investors,” said SAIF Professor Wu Fei. “But while confidence is growing, the expectations of the rising affluent class are also shifting.”

The rising affluent class increasingly view property as a core part of their financial future. Almost half those surveyed identified real estate as a critical component of their financial planning, indicating too heavy a reliance on property and ignorance of other opportunities, said Lisa Hunt, executive vice president of business initiatives at Charles Schwab.


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