Almost Half Of Chinese HNW Individuals Want To Move Abroad - Barclays Survey

Stephen Little and Tom Burroughes 16 September 2014

Almost Half Of Chinese HNW Individuals Want To Move Abroad - Barclays Survey

Almost half of Chinese HNW individuals want to leave the country, according to data from Barclays.

Almost half of Chinese millionaires are thinking of move abroad, highlighting the increasingly global ambitions of such persons, while evidence from other regions shows a more international outlook, if not as pronounced as in China.

The findings come from the Wealth Insights report from Barclays.

The report, called The Rise of the Global Citizen?, questioned more than 2,000 high net worth individuals from around the world and found that entrepreneurs and the wealthy in emerging markets are most likely to be planning a move to another country in the next five years.

The findings suggest wealthy people in China like the idea of moving abroad due to the perceived, or actual, attractions of Western lifestyles, culture and stable property rights, or out of fears of what might happen in a country that is still ruled by a Communist Party elite that has held power since the late 1940s. The number of millionaires and ultra-millionaires in China rose 3.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively last year from a year earlier, according to this year’s wealth report from Hurun Research Institute, published late last week. There are now 1,090,000 high net worth individuals and 67,000 UHNW persons in the world’s second-largest economy.

A recent report from has found that China had the largest proportion of high net worth individuals emigrating in the decade up to 2013. The majority of those emigrants went to Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, the US and the UK. Liam Bailey, head of residential research at global real estate consultancy Knight Frank, puts the Chinese preference for Hong Kong and Singapore down to convenience of doing business.

Almost half
According to the Barclays report, nearly half (47 per cent) of HNW individuals in China and a third (36 per cent) in Qatar and Latin America (34 per cent) are considering a move, compared to just 7 per cent in Japan, 6 per cent in the US and 4 per cent in Switzerland.

While the Chinese (78 per cent) and Qatari (39 per cent) wealthy are the most driven by better educational and employment opportunities for their children, those in Latin America are looking to have better economic security (29 per cent).

High net worth entrepreneurs are twice as likely as the rest of the world’s wealthy population to be planning a move abroad, with just under a third (29 per cent) of wealthy entrepreneurs planning to move to a different country within the next five years, compared to 16 per cent of the total global HNW population.

The report said that of entrepreneurs currently planning to move, 41 per cent are looking to move for economic opportunity, 29 per cent are doing so to start a new business and 27 per cent to pursue an international career, suggesting that high net worth business owners are increasingly looking to new markets for growth.

Barclays also said that nearly half (43 per cent) of those surveyed have lived in more than one country.

“The wealthy are increasingly being motivated to move between countries in order to fulfil their international career aspirations, seize financial opportunities and ensure a better quality education for their children,” the report said.

Register for WealthBriefingAsia today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes