A report released by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini found that the number of people considered to be wealthy in the Asia-Pacific region grew 9.7 percent to 3.3 million in 2010, becoming the second-largest region behind North America in terms of wealthy citizens after leapfrogging Europe for the first time. The report, which defined the wealthy as people with at least $US1 million in net assets (excluding their homes, collections, consumer and durable goods), said the wealth of Asia-Pacific rich people surpassed Europe as early as in 2009 and increased 12.1 percent to US$10.8 trillion last year, compared with Europe\'s US$10.2 trillion. In the Asia-Pacific region, real estate and equities investment were still primary choices for the rich last year, with 27 percent choosing housing market, far higher than the global average 19 percent. The report also predicted that the Asia-Pacific wealthy will beef up stock and fixed-return investment while reducing holdings of cash and deposit from2011 through 2012. China\'s business press carried the story above on Monday.