The total size of the offshore market across the 10 largest offshore centers
reached $56.7tn in 2015
The total size of the retail and institutional non-resident market reached $56.7tn at the end of 2015, when considering the 10 largest offshore centers for bonds, deposits, equities, and mutual funds respectively.
Although this only considers liquid assets, it is clear that we are looking at a sizable pool of funds. However, after a strong 2014, growth slowed down to 1.6% as weak financial market performance, global political and economic uncertainty, as well as an ever increasing focus on tax evasion took its toll on the market. Yet, performance varied significantly across the asset classes considered.
- After a strong 2014, 2015 was a weak year for the offshore market. Non-resident liquid assets among the 10 largest booking centers for each asset class recorded a growth rate of 1.6% over 2014.
- However, performance varied significantly across the four asset classes. Offshore mutual fund holdings, for example, grew strongly, while growth in offshore deposits stagnated.
- Pressure exerted by Western governments is diminishing the importance of traditional offshore centers such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
- Mid-shore centers such as Singapore and Hong Kong are rapidly growing in prominence, particularly Hong Kong thanks to its status as a renminbi hub. Yet Singapore remains the booking center of choice among HNW investors in Asia.
- HNW individuals across the world hold on average 22.7% of their liquid wealth offshore.
- At a global level the US, Switzerland, Singapore, and the UK are the most important booking centers for HNW offshore wealth.