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Wealth in China: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2017

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Published Date : Mar 2017

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No. of Pages : 40 Pages

Wealth in China: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2017


"Wealth in China: Sizing the Market Opportunity 2017" analyzes the Chinese wealth and retail savings and investments markets, with a focus on the HNW segment. The report is based on our proprietary datasets.

Thanks to lower economic productivity, the remarkable wealth growth rates of the past few years will not be repeated in China over the forecast period. Nevertheless, strong predicted retail investments growth - led by strong mutual fund performance - will continue at a faster rate than in the wider region. Between 2016 and 2020 liquid assets held by affluent individuals are forecast to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, representing a sizable opportunity for wealth managers operating in the country.

Chinese HNW investors allocate a noteworthy proportion of their investments into non-traditional assets, mostly in real estate. However, alternative and commodities investments also constitute an above-average and growing proportion. To gain access to a better range of investment options, HNW investors in China also invest a large proportion of their wealth offshore.

Specifically the report -
- Sizes the affluent market (both by number of individuals and the value of their liquid assets) using our proprietary datasets.
- Analyzes which asset classes are favored by Chinese investors and how their preferences impact the growth of the total savings and investments market.
- Examines HNW clients attitudes towards non-traditional investments, such as property and commodities.
- Identifies key drivers and booking centers for offshore investments.
- Examines the tax landscape in China and future implications for investors.


- At the end of 2016, of the approximately 1.06 billion adults living in China 3.8% could be considered affluent.
- Asset growth is expected to be strongest in the $10m+ asset band, which will record a CAGR of 15.1% between 2016 and 2020, compared to a CAGR of 10.0% for affluent individuals.
- Deposits continue to dominate Chinas retail investments market, but mutual fund holdings are forecast to grow at the fastest pace over the next five years.
- Chinese HNW investors allocate a noteworthy proportion of their investable assets into non-traditional investments; in particular, quasi-real estate investment trusts (REITs) have emerged as a popular type of investment.

Reasons to buy

- Benchmark your share of the Chinese wealth market against the current market size.
- Forecast your future growth prospects using our projections for the market to 2020.
- Identify your most promising client segment by analyzing penetration of affluent individuals in China.
- Evaluate your HNW proposition by understanding how the Chinese tax system impacts HNW clients.
- Review your offshore strategy by identifying HNW motivations for offshore investments and their preferred booking centers.
Table of Contents
1.1. Wealth growth is slowing but will still outstrip the West 2
1.2. Key findings 2
1.3. Critical success factors 2
2.1. 2.5% of Chinas affluent individuals can be considered HNW 8
2.1.1. Affluent individuals in China account for 3.8% of the total adult population 8
2.1. Affluent individuals account for 3.8% of the population but hold 81.3% of liquid assets in China 9
2.1.1. Chinese HNW individuals held $3,666bn in liquid assets in 2016 9
3.1. Chinas retail savings and investments have impressed with remarkable growth in recent years 11
3.1.1. Chinas retail investment market is forecast to perform strongly despite weaker economic conditions 11
3.1.2. As can be expected in developing markets, deposits dominate Chinas retail investment market 12
3.1.3. Mutual fund holdings are forecast to grow fastest 13
3.2. Retail deposit growth picked up in 2016, but will be less pronounced than in the past 14
3.2.1. Competition from online money market fund providers will have a negative effect on deposit growth 15
3.3. Despite strong growth rates, Chinas retail bond market will remain insignificant 16
3.4. Strong stock market volatility will limit growth of direct equities, while money market funds expand 17
3.4.1. The Chinese stock market had a good start into 2017 17
3.4.2. Money market funds are growing in popularity, shielding funds from the vagaries of the stock market 18
4.1. Chinese HNW individuals allocate 38% of their portfolios outside traditional liquid assets 21
4.1.1. Chinese HNW investors allocate an above-average proportion of their wealth into property 21
4.1.2. Alternatives and commodities have become an integral part of the typical HNW portfolio in China 21
4.2. A significant proportion of HNW wealth is invested offshore 23
4.2.1. Despite maintaining a closed capital account, a significant amount is leaving the country every year 23
4.2.2. Access to a better range of investment options prompts Chinese individuals to invest offshore 24
4.2.3. Tax is a limited driver for offshore investments 25
4.2.4. The US is the single most important booking center for Chinese HNW wealth 26
5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 0
5.2. Supplementary data 1
5.3. Definitions 4
5.3.1. Affluent 4
5.3.2. Domicile 4
5.3.3. DTC 5
5.3.4. Exchange of information 5
5.3.5. FATCA 5
5.3.6. HNW 6
5.3.7. Liquid assets 6
5.3.8. Mass affluent 6
5.3.9. Mass market 6
5.3.10. Onshore 7
5.3.11. Residency 7
5.3.12. TIEAs 7
5.4. Methodology 7
5.4.1. GlobalDatas 2016 Global Wealth Managers Survey 7
5.4.2. Global Wealth Model methodology 7
5.4.3. Global Retail Investments Analytics methodology 8
5.4.4. Exchange rates 8
5.5. Bibliography 9
5.6. Further reading 9

List of Tables
Table 1: Progressive tax rates levied on employment income in China, 2016 25
Table 2: Progressive tax rates levied on business income in China, 2016 26
Table 3: China: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 201015 1
Table 4: China: adult population segmented by affluent category and asset band (000s), 2016e20f 2
Table 5: China: total liquid wealth segmented by affluent category and asset band ($bn), 2010-15 3
Table 6: China: total liquid wealth segmented by affluent category and asset band ($bn), 2016e-20f 4
Table 7: Chinese Yuan-US dollar exchange rate, December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016 8

List of Figures
Figure 1: Affluent individuals represented 3.81% of the population in 2016 9
Figure 2: The affluent population holds 81.3% of retail liquid assets in China 10
Figure 3: While lower than in the past, retail savings and investment growth is forecast to remain strong 12
Figure 4: Deposits account for 76.4% of the Chinese retail and investment market 13
Figure 5: Mutual funds are forecast to grow at impressive rates 14
Figure 6: Deposit growth is inextricably linked to wage growth 15
Figure 7: Retail bond holdings are negatively correlated to the Shanghai Composite Index 17
Figure 8: Stock market performance was weak throughout 2016 18
Figure 9: There is a strong correlation between stock market performance and retail equity holdings 19
Figure 10: Chinas total fund industry is dominated by money market funds 20
Figure 11: A good chunk of Chinese HNW wealth is held in non-traditional investments 22
Figure 12: Chinese HNW individuals hold 35% of their assets offshore 24
Figure 13: Asset diversification and investment options remain the biggest motivations for offshore investment 25
Figure 14: The largest proportion of Chinese HNW offshore wealth is booked in the US 27
Figure 15: The largest proportion of Chinese HNW offshore wealth is booked in the US 28

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