SINGAPORE — Better career and business opportunities elsewhere may lead to an exodus of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) living in Singapore, showed a survey by Barclays.
The survey, conducted with 2,000 respondents worldwide — among them 100 based in Singapore — found that nearly a quarter of the respondents based here have plans to move to a different country over the next five years.
China tops this survey with 47 per cent of the respondents based there indicating they plan to move abroad, whereas only 7 per cent from Japan and 5 per cent from India have plans to do so.
The survey defined a HNWI as someone with a net worth of more than £1 million (S$2.05 million).
Top among the reasons cited for wanting to leave Singapore were “pursuing an international career” and looking for economic opportunities. The No 1 destination for them is China, followed by the US and Canada.
With Singapore becoming an increasingly more expensive place to do business, some may look elsewhere to expand or relocate businesses.
Mr Kurt Wee, a private equity manager, pointed out that the growing business opportunities in China and Singapore’s economy undergoing restructuring could be also be reasons for the wealthy to move.
However, while some HNWIs are looking to move out of Singapore, the Republic remains an attractive destination for HNWIs living elsewhere looking to relocate.
“If people move out, people will move in as well,” said Mr Wee, who is also president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Based on the Barclays survey, more than 40 per cent stated “political and economic security” as the main reasons for living here.
“Singapore still has a lot of business opportunities,” said Mr Urs Brutsch, managing partner and founder of HP Wealth Management. He said it is easy to do business here and “the legal system is crystal clear … a judiciary that is independent and works”.
Mr Pearce Cheng, managing director of a firm that helps facilitate immigrations, said his clients consider Singapore a safe haven to park their wealth. Most of his clients are mainland Chinese who not only seek business opportunities, but also a “less stressful” education for their children.
Clients from Japan seek to come in as a result of Singapore’s pro-business environment, while those from India and Bangladesh feel that Singapore is a good place to invest, especially in property.
news source & image credit: todayonline.com