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Report reveals identity of city's wealthiest residents

By Xie Yu in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2012-05-12 07:55

Report reveals identity of city's wealthiest residents

Business owners and property developers top Shanghai rich list

Business owners, real estate investors and professional investors are the wealthiest people in Shanghai, according to Shanghai Wealth Report 2012, published on Friday by Hurun Report and the Australia-based independent financial adviser Gao Fu Wealth Management.

There are 370,000 people with 6 million yuan ($950,000) living in Shanghai today, or one-in-65 people in a city with a population of 23 million.

A total of 140,000 people in Shanghai have personal assets of 10 million yuan, an increase of 6.1 percent year-on-year, accounting for 13.7 percent of China's high net worth individuals.

Furthermore, there are 8,200 "super-rich" individuals with assets worth 100 million yuan, up 5.1 percent from last year.

Of the super-rich individuals in Shanghai, 75 percent are business owners. Real-estate investors account for 15 percent. And finally, professional investors account for 10 percent of super-rich individuals in Shanghai.

"This year's report shows that property is the biggest source of wealth in Shanghai, while globally, most wealth comes from professional investment," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.

"It is quite normal. As at the beginning of creating wealth, you tend to do everything by yourself. But as fortune accumulates, people have stronger awareness for investment," he said.

Considering that China's real estate industry is relatively sluggish at the moment, and the stock market is flat, Hoogewerf said these factors will affect the fortunes of China's rich.

But he pointed out he is confident that consumption in China, especially luxury consumption, will fuel economic growth.

AFP cited an Italian luxury consumption monitor on Wednesday as predicting 18 to 22 percent growth this year in China's luxury market, which continues to lead the world.

Shanghai's super-rich individuals account for 12.9 percent of the national total. The city ranks third in China in terms of the number of rich and super-rich individuals, following Beijing and Shenzhen.

Pig-feed king Liu Yongxing, chairman of East Hope Group, and street fashion king Zhou Chengjian, president of textile company Metersbonwe Group, are the richest individuals living in Shanghai, with personal fortunes of 41 billion yuan and 32 billion yuan respectively. Liu was also at the top of the list last year.

Hoogewerf said Shanghai is the capital for international Chinese, with more top overseas Chinese entrepreneurs settling here than any other city in the mainland.

"Decades ago, wealth was held in contempt by the Chinese society. But nowadays, it is hotly discussed and chased by people," said Zhu Yan, CEO of Gao Fu Wealth Management.

The release of the wealth report will inspire people to think about how fortunes are made, and how they can properly manage their wealth, she added.

According to the report, Shanghai has 250 individuals with 2 billion yuan, of which 82 are on the Hurun Rich List 2011. Shanghai has 90 dollar billionaires, of which 28 are ranked on the Hurun Rich List 2011.

The widening income gap is the hottest topic in China today. China's Gini coefficient, a gauge of income inequality, was 0.412 in 2000 and many experts believe it has climbed higher since then, indicating a growing wealth gap between rich and poor.

Report reveals identity of city's wealthiest residents

(China Daily 05/12/2012 page9)

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