TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has risen to rank as the fourth-richest country in terms of net financial assets and the second-richest in Asia in the last wealth report by the Allianz Group.
According to the German multinational financial services company's latest report, titled "Allianz Global Wealth Report 2019," net financial assets, which correspond to financial assets minus liabilities, decreased globally by 1.9 percent and in Asia by 6.7 percent in 2018, due in large part to a 10.6 percent year-on-year drop in Chinese household net wealth.
The U.S. leads the world with net financial assets of 184,410 euros (US$203,000), followed by Switzerland at 173,840 euros, Singapore at 100,370 euros. Taiwan is not far behind in fourth place with average financial assets of 97,850 euros.
In Asia, Taiwan is in second place, trailing only Singapore. Taiwan overtook Japan for the first time, which is now in third at 96,310 euros.
While gross financial assets declined by 3.4 percent in China and 1.2 percent in Japan in 2018, they increased by a robust 5.1 percent in Taiwan. In Asia, only India (9 percent) and Indonesia (5.8 percent) saw higher gross financial asset growth rates than Taiwan last year.
As for liabilities, China saw the highest growth of all countries in the region at 18.2 percent. Taiwan, on the other hand, saw the third-smallest increase in liabilities in the region at 4.5 percent.
Although development in net terms looks less favorable than gross terms for most countries, Taiwan was one of the bright spots listed in the report. Taiwan, along with Malaysia and Singapore, were the only countries in the region where the gross financial assets of private households increased more than their loans.
The report emphasized that the numbers cited were averages and did not provide a breakdown of actual wealth distribution in the countries listed. The report pointed out that 72.8 percent of Asia's population still belongs to the "global low wealth class," while a mere 7.8 percent are considered "high wealth individuals."
In a head-to-head matchup with China, Taiwanese households held an average of 117,426 euros in gross financial assets per capita compared to 14,670 euros for Chinese families in 2018. Deducting liabilities, Chinese households came out even worse, with 10,395 euros in net wealth compared to 97,850 euros for Taiwanese families.