KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The number of ultra-wealthy Malaysians rose 11 per cent to 310 last year, up from 280 in 2016 among the country's population of 31.19 million, according to Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2018.
Ultra-wealthy individuals are those with US$50 million (RM193.35 million) or more in net assets.
The 12th edition of report, released by the independent global property consultancy here today, also predicted the super-rich population in Malaysia would jump 65 per cent to 510 people from 2017 to 2022.
Knight Frank Asia Pacific Head of Research, Nicholas Holt, said the strengthening of the ringgit versus the US dollar by 15 per cent last year was the main contributor to the rise of the super-rich population in the country.
“Besides, e-commerce and manufacturing sectors, which continued to perform well last year, along with the new sectors like financial technology that had created new wealth in the country, also contributed to the 11 per cent growth,” he said.
Holt said this at a media briefing here today in conjunction with the launch of The Wealth Report 2018.
The annual publication tracks the growing super-rich population globally along with a deeper analyses of 52 countries.
It said the world’s ultra-wealthy population increased 10 per cent (11,630 individuals) to 129,730 people last year, with Asia surpassing Europe as the key hub for the super-rich.
Back home, the report said these rich Malaysians preferred less risky assets, with 44 per cent of them allocating their investments into the property sector last year, above the global average of 39 per cent in 2017.
It said 33 per cent of wealthy Malaysians invested in gold against the global average of 25 per cent.
However, 21 per cent of Malaysian respondents said they planned to increase the weight in their cryptocurrencies investment portfolio, matching the global average of 21 per cent.
Commenting on this, Holt said, Malaysians’ investment appetite was growing in line with the global trend.
“They will allocate part of the investments into ‘safer’ assets such as property and gold. At the same time, they will put aside some in the emerging cryptocurrencies,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the statement released today, Knight Frank Malaysia Managing Director, Sarkunan Subramaniam, said he expected post-election, investors would accept more risks as the political landscape brought a new policy and economic cycle.
“Investors may also increasingly look at various real estate opportunities across residential and commercial properties both at home and overseas,” he said. — Bernama