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Average Taiwanese household wealth third highest in Asia: Allianz.

At the end of 2009 the average Taiwanese household boasted over 50,000 euros (around NT$2.2 million) in financial assets, the third highest in Asia after Japan and Singapore, according to the "Global Wealth Report" published by the Allianz Group on Oct. 25. In addition, the report says, almost 40% of the island's population--more than 9 million people--belong to the wealth middle class.

The report points out that emerging countries, especially those in Asia, have fully recovered the losses they suffered in the global financial tsunami, while most other countries have yet to escape fully from the shadows of the recession.

Led by China, India, and Indonesia, the per-capita financial assets of emerging countries in Asia jumped over 10% last year. Taiwan scored a growth rate of 5.6%; although this is much lower than China and India, Taiwan has now returned to its pre-tsunami level.

The average Taiwanese household possessed 51,300 euros in financial assets, including bank deposits, stocks, mutual funds, and insurance policies, at the end of 2009. In Japan the figure was 88,600 euros, and in Singapore 66,800 euros. Taiwan ranked 18th worldwide. Switzerland was the global champion, with 163,700 euros in financial assets for the average household, leaving the U.S. a distant second at 101,700 euros. Denmark, Holland, and Japan followed.

Financial assets in emerging markets have grown by an annual average of 13-17% over the past 10 years. "The poorer countries are catching up; the prosperity gap has shrunk somewhat due to the financial crisis," remarked Allianz chief economist Michael Heise. "Whereas at the beginning of the decade financial assets in the rich countries were 135 times higher than in the poor countries, this factor has now fallen to 45. However, the absolute differences are still very large. North America, Western Europe and Japan still account for more than 85% of overall global financial assets."

Analysis of the 50 countries covered in the survey shows that the losses of wealth caused by the financial crisis have not yet been overcome. Despite an increase of 7.5%, at the end of 2009 total global financial assets (82.230 trillion euros) were still some 4% lower than the pre-crisis level of 85.590 trillion euros, according to the report.

The report points out that global financial assets have been growing by an average of 3.7% a year since 2001--slower than the expansion of nominal economic output. Per-capita growth, at 2.8%, has been below average global inflation of 3.4%. The reasons for this weak performance can be found in the developed countries, where low savings rates and, above all, severe losses during the financial crisis and the bursting of the internet bubble have depressed average growth. Almost all of the biggest losers in the financial crisis were industrial countrie--with the U.S., Greece, and Spain at the forefront, according to the Allianz report.
Global Wealth Rankings

Ranking   Country       Average Financial Assets Per Household

1         Switzerland   163,732
2         U.S.          101,762
3         Denmark       96,242
4         Holland       91,798
5         Japan         88,659
6         Belgium       84,529
7         U.K.          75,842
8         Australia     71,636
9         Ireland       68,060
10        Singapore     66,831
11        Norway        62,716
12        France        61,437
13        Sweden        61,048
14        Canada        60,236
15        Italy         58,845
16        Germany       56,856
17        Austria       52,599
18        Taiwan        51,332
19        Spain         39,037
20        Finland       37,842

Source: Allianz Group
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Author:Liu, Philip
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Statistical data
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Oct 29, 2010
Words:581
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