During three decades of reform, China has built up significant public and private reserves. According to data from the People’s Bank of China, individuals had RMB108.5 trillion (USD17 trillion) local-currency deposits at the end of the first quarter of 2014. At the same time, the Chinese wealthy now have approximately USD450-658 billion held in offshore assets, which represents around 13% of their wealth. Although this is a significant amount, it is still below the global average of 20-30%.
China employs strict currency regulations that are designed to prevent large amounts of currency from moving out of the country. Legal ways to invest overseas exist, but those who are determined to move capital permanently out of the country face limits and often turn to illegal schemes.
Since this trend will inevitably continue, and it will have a significant impact on the global economy, it is important to understand its inner workings and implications. Financial service providers such as wealth and asset managers, private equity funds, banks, cross-border payments providers, and even those involved in real estate and artwork businesses, will find this report essential for their understanding of both the opportunities and risks in this market.