Asia’s moneyed elites have increased their spending on university tuition, ladies’ shoes and hospital stays while their expenses for business class air travel, jewelry and golf club membership have seen declines, Swiss private banking group Julius Baer and Bank of China Ltd. (03988.HK, 601988.CN) said in a report released on Tuesday.
On average, university tuition saw the highest rise in spending among high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the region at 30 percent, while expenses for ladies’ shoes grew 8 percent and those for hospital stays increased 4.9 percent, the report said.
The largest declines were in business class air travel at 20 percent, jewelry at 13 percent and golf club membership at 11 percent.
For this year, the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, which tracks the price of a basket of luxury goods and services, rose 1.1 percent. The gauge covers Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai, Taipei, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Julius Baer and Bank of China interviewed 829 parents in selected cities in the region who belong to the top 20 percent of the population in terms of wealth.
The survey showed that the parents spend a significant portion of their income on the education of their children.
In Hong Kong, for example, parents use 14.3 percent of their household income on child education while investing 11.6 percent for their future studies.
Chinese parents, on the other hand, spend about 14 percent of their income on education, both current and future, while those in Singapore spend about 12 percent.
In India, more than 70 percent of the parents surveyed want to send their kids abroad for higher education, compared with 65 percent in China and 48 percent in Hong Kong.
The report also showed that structured products, foreign exchange and bonds are the top three asset classes that Chinese HNWIs want to invest in in the coming 12 months.
The United States and Canada are the top destinations for those Chinese investors, followed by Hong Kong, Australia and Europe.
More than 40 percent of the respondents expressed interest in cross-border investment, and a similar number of the HNWIs intend to buy real estate overseas in the coming year.
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