SCMP Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Rich toast fortune with beer, says survey


Affluent Asians prefer beer to wine and more than six in 10 own a computer, according to a market research firm. They are more likely to have life insurance than a credit card and favour investing in the stock market over unit trusts, AMI International says.
Between April and August this year, the firm interviewed 6,600 people aged 25 to 64 with a household income of at least $40,000 a month in eight Asian economies.
Some 75 per cent said they owned a CD player, nearly 70 per cent a mobile phone, 63 per cent a computer, 27 per cent an SLR (single lens reflex) camera and 10 per cent an MP3 player.
The SAR's affluent were the biggest consumers of CD players, with 90 per cent owning one, but had the fewest private cars - just 38 per cent compared to 92 per cent of their counterparts in Kuala Lumpur.
The SAR topped the list for mini-disc player ownership with 39 per cent, against 13 per cent in Singapore and eight per cent in Bangkok.
The SAR also had close to the highest penetration rate for video cameras - 42 per cent compared to 51 per cent in Taipei, the highest, and 22 per cent in Kuala Lumpur, the lowest.
Across the region, 72 per cent of people classed as affluent said they had drunk beer in the past month, compared to 46 per cent who had consumed red wine, 34 per cent whisky, 21 per cent white wine, and 14 per cent champagne.
While 68 per cent of the wealthy had a life-insurance policy, 65 per cent had a credit card. More than a third of those surveyed invested in local stocks or securities but only 23 per cent put money in unit trusts or mutual funds.
As for travel, Asia's rich took more trips within the region than they did to all outside destinations put together.