Crazy rich Asians are stingier than peers in North America, Europe

PETALING JAYA (Dec 5): Asia’s super-rich are giving away their wealth to charity at a slower pace than their peers in North America and Europe, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) said today in an article based on a report on Wednesday by data analytics firm Wealth-X.

The report said the region’s population of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) with at least US$30 million of assets gave away a combined US18.8 billion or 0.19% of their fortune to charities in 2018 while their North Americans and Europeans counterparts parted with 0.65% and 0.56%, respectively.

The report also said total charitable spending by the world's UHNWIs amounted to US$153 billion globally last year, with North Americans and Europeans contributing a combined 81% of the sum.

The SCMP said the trend may yet persist as Asian UHNWIs lose their wealth at a faster rate this year. It quoted a report by Wealth-X in September which showed Asia’s UHNWIs are in fact losing their wealth faster than their peers from developed regions.

The combined net worth of Asian UHNWIs slipped 1.7% in 2018 to US$32.3 trillion in 2018, the first decline in three years, according to Wealth-X. In Hong Kong, the 9% drop was the biggest collective erosion among their peers.

The report blamed the US-China trade war and Brexit issues which made it harder for investors to boost returns from their assets in the past two years.

The report also said older wealthy people tended to be more generous with their money than younger generations who are more focused on building up businesses than worrying about legacies.

It said nine in every 10 UHNWIs donated to educational causes.

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