Southeast Asia is still a new and uncharted market for the yachting industry, presenting huge opportunities as well as complex challenges for companies seeking to grow their business, Wealth-X CEO Mykolas Rambus said during his speech at the Asia Pacific Yachting Conference (APYC) 2014 in Singapore.
As the ultra high net worth (UHNW) lifestyle becomes increasingly internationalised, there is growing interest in yachts among Southeast Asia's 4,690 ultra wealthy individuals, who have a combined net worth of US$625 billion, according to the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013. The addressable market is 20,000 UHNW individuals when accounting for spouses and children.
Rambus also noted that the intergenerational wealth transfer will be beneficial to the yachting industry in the region, where many clients are younger than the global average and are receptive to seeking new lifestyle experiences.
He, however, identified three key challenges facing yacht companies in Southeast Asia: an underdeveloped but nascent sea-faring market; a high financial threshold for yacht purchases, especially given the fact that the liquidity of Southeast Asia's UHNW individuals is lower than the global average; and lifestyle differences among Asia's disparate cultures.
The Wealth-X Q1 2014 Luxury Sentiment Survey showed that 87% of yachting industry executives expect global growth in revenue this year, and one third expect to see their business grow by more than 10% in the same period, he said.
Below are other key Wealth-X findings presented at the APYC, which is held in conjunction with the Singapore Yacht Show:
Superyacht owners are generally 30 percent wealthier than owners of private jets, but only seven percent of luxury asset spending in Asia was on yachting in 2013, lower than the global average of 16%.
The global average net worth of superyacht owners is US$680 million, compared to US$520 million among private jet owners.
Superyacht owners are predominantly self-made males in their 60s with an average liquidity of US$117 million, and their yachts holdings are worth at least US$20 million, US$8 million more than aircraft owners.