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Asia's rich search for safe havens

posted 3 Jul 2012, 04:14 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 3 Jul 2012, 04:14 ]

Asia's wealthy are turning to safe-haven standbys like bonds and property as they look to protect their assets in a time of crisis.

HONG KONG-ASIA MILLIONAIRES - Action star turned yoga instructor Almen Wong is proof Asia's millionaires come in all shapes and sizes.

When it comes to her money, she doesn't want to be overstretched. Especially in these uncertain times.


PURE YOGA CO-FOUNDER ALMEN WONG, SAYING:

"I have been around for a while, I'm not a very young girl anymore, so I have seen many crises, ups and downs. We invest our money in property and different places, we don't really take high risk investments."


Almen isn't alone. They may have cash to spare, but Asia's millionaires are shunning risk, following the global flight to the safety of fixed income and U.S. Dollars.


ASIA-PACIFIC CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CITI PRIVATE BANK, JOHN WOODS, SAYING:

"Caution, caution towards the global environment, caution towards a China slowdown."


There are now more millionaires in Asia than North America. Asia also has more super rich, with assets over 100 million dollars.


But market turbulence has taken a toll. Collective millionaire wealth has fallen, and Asia's rich are working harder to preserve their assets.


Property spells trouble in much of the West, but Asia's wealthy are still pouring cash into bricks and mortar.


REUTERS REPORTER TESSA DUNLOP, SAYING:

Real estate is viewed as a safe investment in many parts of Asia, despite worries about a property market crash. As a popular saying goes, "property may get sick but it never dies".


ASIA-PACIFIC CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CITI PRIVATE BANK, JOHN WOODS, SAYING:

"The older generation obviously have a much stronger home bias and prefer to buy real estate in areas they know, the younger generation are much more adventurous and willing to invest in places outside, particularly in prime markets in Europe and the United States."


As the risks grow, Asia's rich are chasing the most elusive return, peace of mind.


Tessa Dunlop, for Reuters.

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