Despite the numbers, we are talking about the top 2% of our population who are millionaires. While wealth accumulation at the top is accelerating, cost increases, fee hikes and rising cost of essentials ..and stagnant wages mean that the bottom 30-40% are worse off and a large proportion above that are probably no better off after offsetting seeing their pay hike eaten away by rising cost of living. Guess that would simply mean our GINI index will set a new high this year. ...and with the rising cost, the city, bus interchange and be will also become "more popular" with the rising number of 'sleepers'.
Singapore Inc has been very productive in 2007 creating plenty of wealth and poverty at the same time!
"Nothing motivates better than money...or rather the lack of it..." - Lucky Tan
I leave you with a popular song about the Singaporeans dreaming about joining the millionaire club....
S'pore home to world's fastest-growing population of millionaires
By Tung Shing Yi, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 28 June 2007 1949 hrsPhotos 1 of 1
SINGAPORE : Singapore is home to the world's fastest-growing population of millionaires, according to the annual world wealth report compiled by Merrill Lynch and the Capgemini Group.
The number of high net worth individuals in Singapore grew by 21.2% last year to reach almost 67,000 millionaires.
Singapore's millionaire boom is part of a global trend that saw the number of high net worth individuals rise 8.3% to reach 9.5 million last year.
Among the super-rich are a group called the ultra-rich, with assets over US$30 million.
The growth of these ultra high net worth individuals grew 11.3%, outpacing that of high net worth individuals and suggesting a growing concentration of wealth.
"The main reasons for the growth in the number of high net worth individuals was GDP growth, which was about 8.2% in Singapore last year, and the strong market capitalisation growth reflected in the stock market. Also, Singapore's strong savings rate has helped in the creation of wealth," said Kong Eng Huat, MD of Merrill Lynch, International Bank.
India and Indonesia follow closely behind Singapore in the list of countries with the fastest-growing number of millionaires.
The survey also pointed out a growing preference among wealthy investors to put money into the real estate market.
While the high-end luxury sector in Singapore has been seeing strong demand, Merrill Lynch sees the bull run spilling over to the mass market segment over the next three years.
Mark Matthews, senior director and chief Asia Strategist at Merrill Lynch said: "More and more people are coming to work in Singapore, and as a result of that, people will move out of Districts, 9, 10, 11, into areas like Bukit Timah or East Coast, and prices are increasing in these neighbourhoods as well.
"There's not enough in the private residential sector to meet demand. I believe there are only less than 40,000 vacant condominiums left in Singapore now, and we're expecting over 100,000 people to move here this year."
Global assets held by wealthy investors rose 11.4 percent to $37.2 trillion in 2006, but the growth rate is forecast to slow to 6.8% annually over the next four years.
Going forward, Merrill Lynch expects more central banks to tighten monetary policy, bringing a possible end to the period of high liquidity that has stimulated recent growth.
Growth rates in Asia are expected to ease back as global demand slows. - CNA /ls