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Business

Number of Chinese millionaires grows

The number of millionaires in the world's second largest economy has gone up rapidly, a new study has shown. Private wealth has predominantly been boosted by people's investments in domestic equities.

China had no fewer than 4 million households worth at least a million dollars in 2014, a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) showed Tuesday. The ranking placed China second in the world after the United States, which has led the table for years.

While the US had 7 million millionaires last year, Japan - which took third place in the group's ranking – logged 1 million people with at least a seven-figure net worth.

But the recent increase was sharpest in China where 1 million new millionaires were added throughout 2014 alone.

Shrewd investment

Researchers said the boost had been driven mainly by Chinese citizens' investments in local equities. Their willingness to hope for a positive development of stocks paid off tremendously, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finishing as the best performer in the whole of Asia in 2014 after soaring by more than 50 percent.

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Rich Chinese ski tourists

"Strong market performance across the entire region - thanks to solid domestic demand - significantly increased the value of existing assets, compared with the increase stemming from newly created wealth," BCG's report said.

In a study released in April, Forbes said that mainland China was estimated to have a record 400 billionaire families, thanks to a rally in stock prices. The surge highlights a yawning income gap which has become a rising concern in the world's most populous nation.

hg/cjc (AFP, dpa)

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