Singapore to be world's richest country by 2050

by Romesh NavaratnarajahSingapore is set to be among the world's richest economies by 2050 on a per capita basis, according to a study by Knight Frank and Citibank.

Other Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea topped the list on the back of rapid growth in the Asian region.

Moreover, Asian multi-millionaires are expected to outnumber their counterparts in North America and Western Europe by 2050.

Singapore topped the list in the 2010 rankings and is expected to retain the same spot by 2050 when its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita hits US$137,710 (S$172,000).

At the same time, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and the US are expected to complete the top five.

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, said: "While rapid GDP growth does not in itself guarantee a sharp rise in high-net-worth individuals, rapidly growing economies do provide key opportunities for large-scale wealth creation."

Gilmore noted that there are currently around 18,000 "centa-millionaires", or those with at least US$100 million (S$125 million) in assets throughout the region covering Southeast Asia, Japan and China. This figure is expected to grow to 26,000 by 2016.

"Southeast Asian deca-millionaires - those with US$10 million (S$12.5 million) or more in assets - already outnumber those in Europe and are expected to overtake those in the US in the coming decade," she added.

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