Hong Kong is trailing behind close regional competitor Singapore in the asset management business, according to a report from research specialists Asian Private Banker.
Hong Kong managed $31.8bn in private wealth compared to Singapore’s $53.4bn.
Singapore also has more independent asset managers (IAM) with an estimated 90 IAMs whilst Hong Kong is home to 70 IAMs. However, a growing number of high-net worth individuals settling in Hong Kong may propel the city through the rankings as Hong Kong emerges as the ninth richest in the world and third richest in Asia, according to Knight Frank’s 2018 City Wealth Index.
Hong Kong, together with China, is home to 5,140 individuals who are each worth over $50m. That accounts for 14.33% of Asia’s ultra-wealthy population.
The report also sees a rise in the asset management business in Asia, with opportunities in the near-horizon. “Notwithstanding challenges, including recent regulatory initiatives, the model of independent asset management has drawn attention from end-clients and financial institutions across the Asia-Pacific region.”
It added: “In Thailand, independent asset managers and local banks have become increasingly interested in partnering with international banks, while the prospects for independent asset management markets in Mainland China and Australia are also promising,” the report said.
However, Europe still leads the global asset management rankings with 2,500 firms operating in Switzerland alone to manage an estimated $430bn in private wealth.