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China Wealth Growth Shifts Inland, Boston Consulting Study Finds

China’s inland region is seeing faster growth in the number of millionaires than Beijing and the coastal regions where wealth has been concentrated, according to Boston Consulting Group and China Construction Bank Corp.

The number of high net worth households in Anhui, Gansu and Hunan provinces will increase by more than 30 percent in 2012, BCG and the lender’s private banking unit said today in a report. Nationwide the figure will grow by 17 percent to 1.74 million, slower than last year’s 30 percent pace.

China is seeking to expand the economies of the western region faster than the country’s average in the five years through 2015, using policy incentives and investing in projects ranging from high-speed rail to eco-tourism. Private companies are shifting production inland to take advantage of lower costs.

The “economic growth engine in China will shift to central-western inland regions,” according to the report. “Provinces with large populations and sizable private wealth will represent significant growth potential, such as Anhui, Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shandong and Shaanxi.”

The number of wealthy households in Beijing and Shanghai will grow more slowly than the 17 percent national average and the pace in Guangdong, the southern province that borders Hong Kong, is below 10 percent, the report showed.

Investable assets held by Chinese wealthy individuals, who are predominantly business owners, may increase by 14 percent to 73 trillion yuan ($11.7 trillion) in 2012, Construction Bank and BCG predict.

China’s 16 private banks may lose market share to securities and trust companies in the next few years, according to the report. Preferential government policies and large customer bases will help the banks’ competitors, the report said.

BCG and Construction Bank interviewed 1,912 high net worth individuals in China for the report. Most had more than 6 million yuan of investable assets, while the rest held at least 3 million.

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