Knight Frank: Malaysia falls behind in client wealth within Asia Pacific

by IZZAT RATNA

Malaysia is falling behind other counterparts in client wealth within the Asia Pacific region, according to Knight Frank’s 12th edition Wealth Report.

According to the report, between 2012 and 2017, Malaysia’s wealth distribution level declined 6% to 310 number ultra-wealthy individuals with more than US$50 million net assets compared to 330 recorded in 2012.

Knight Frank Asia Pacific head of research Nicholas Holt said that 2017 was a relatively strong year in Asia-Pacific and was reflected in the growth of wealthy individuals across the region.

“Despite global headwinds including a rising interest rate environment, the continued rebalancing of China’s economy and tensions around trade, the region is set for further growth in 2018 with wealth increasingly being accumulated through new sources of growth including technology related industries,” Holt said.

This year’s findings are based on respondents from 541 of the world’s leading private bankers and wealth advisors, representing about 50,000 clients with a combined wealth of about US$3 trillion (RM11.61 trillion).

The study incorporated the results of the Attitudes Survey, which offers an annual snapshot of issues that influence wealthy individuals’ investment decisions.

Knight Frank Malaysia MD Sarkunan Subramaniam said last year wealthy investors in Malaysia increased their exposure to bonds and golds, both seen as safe asset classes especially with the general election coming soon.

“Post-election, we expect investors to accept mote risks as the political landscape brings a new policy and economic cycle,” he said at the report’s launch ceremony in Kuala Lumpur today.

“Investors may also look at various real estate opportunities across residential and commercial properties both at home and abroad,” he added.

The survey’s also indicated a significant reallocation into the precious metal in Malaysia and China with 33% and 46% of respondents saying that their clients increased their allocations last year. The figure is above the global average of 25%.