Malaysia's largest shopping mall Suria KLCC opened its doors to the public 08 May in Kuala Lumpur. The six-storey shopping mall boasts one million square feet of retail space which is adjoining to the world's tallest building, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the country's newest landmark. AFP PHOTO

KUALA LUMPUR – Despite the weakening ringgit, the number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) Malaysians increased 3 per cent last year to 1,020 people, according to the latest Knight Frank’s 2017 Wealth Report.

“The increase might not be much, but Malaysia seeing about 30 more UHNWIs from 2015 is in tandem with the overall growth in Asia and Australasia regions,” Nicholas Holt, the international property consultancy’s Asia Pacific head of research, told a media briefing here today.

Based on Knight Frank’s calculations, the number of ultra rich Malaysians who had at least US$30 million (RM1.3 billion) in net assets numbered about 990 people in 2015.

The survey is based on the responds and views of bankers and wealth advisers who manage assets of these high net worth individuals in 89 countries.

According to Knight Frank’s 2017 report, Vietnam saw the biggest jump in super-rich Individuals last year. Globally, the number of UNHWIs rose by 6,340 last year, taking the total to 193,490.

The report also ranked Kuala Lumpur 31st in its list of “cities that matter” to the super rich, ahead of Amsterdam, New Delhi, Rome and Seattle.

The ranking is based on its four measures of current wealth, investment, connectivity and future wealth.

Knight Frank Malaysia international project marketing’s Dominic Heaton-Watson said that London and New York secured the top two spots in the list, but noted that future concentration and investment firepower looked set to be dominated by Asian and North American cities in the next 10 years.

At the same briefing, Knight Frank’s country managing director S. Sarkunan said Malaysia’s price forecast for residential properties is expected to remain stagnant for the entire year.

“Weak ringgit and uncertainties like elections that is expected to take place this year are among the reasons for property prices to grow at 0 per cent.

“So, this is a good year to buy properties,” he said.

– Malay Mail