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Hong Kong youths lead Asia-Pacific region in financial literacy

Financial literacyData released by MasterCard on Thursday showed Hong Kong youths led the Asia-Pacific region in overall financial literacy and investment knowledge.

The MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy—based on a survey conducted between April and May—showed Hong Kong retained its No. 1 position in financial literacy, followed closely by New Zealand and Singapore.

In the category of money management, however, New Zealand youths outperformed Hong Kong youths in overall basic money management, which includes budgeting, keeping up with bills, credit commitments and saving for big purchases. India, Korea and Myanmar were the three lowest performers in the category.

India, China and Malaysia showed the most improvement in overall financial literacy, while Vietnam, Korea and Japan ranked as the lowest performers overall. Korea fell eight places to take the 15th spot.

In terms of saving and planning for retirement and unexpected life events, youths in Myanmar ranked among the region’s best, edging out Thailand, which rose from the ninth to second position, and Taiwan.

“As the next generation of adult consumers, young people need to be armed with an understanding of how to plan, manage, and invest their money as this is critical to their future well-being,” Georgette Tan, the group head of communications in MasterCard’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa division, said. “We’ve seen from the Index that while youth in markets such as Hong Kong and New Zealand are well-equipped, some others are lagging behind, indicating that more education is required on this front. MasterCard supports a variety of organizations and programs in the region that focus on financial literacy because we believe that empowering and equipping young people with financial management knowledge and skills will benefit them, their families and communities in the long term.”

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