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Singapore falls to fifth priciest market for expats

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The drop was a result of the strengthening of the USD against SGD.
Singapore’s status as one of the most expensive cities for expatriates globally went down from third place to fifth place, driven by deflation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mercer’s 2020 Cost of Living Survey.
In addition, the drop was also a result of the strong USD against SGD.
As for other expensive markets, Hong Kong still remains as the costliest both in Asia and globally, attributed to currency movements measured against the US dollar that drove up the cost of living locally. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan took second place from Tokyo, Japan, which now ranks third. Zurich, Switzerland followed at fourth.
The survey also saw a dip in rankings across Chinese cities due to the currency depreciation against the US dollar. The most notable drop was for Shenyang, down 18 places from last year, ranking at 63.
On the other hand, currency appreciation and price increases for goods and services saw Southeast Asian cities like Manila and Jakarta climb in rankings this year. Manila (80) went up 29 spots from last year, whilst Jakarta (86) climbed 19 places. Mumbai (60) is India’s most expensive city, whilst Kolkata (185) ranked as the cheapest Indian city.
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This is led by the decline in all three regions. Condo rentals fell 1.4% MoM in May from April although it remained unchanged from a year earlier, according to SRX Property. All three regions registered decline in rents with the Core Central Region (CCR), Rest of Central Region (RCR), and Outside Central Region (OCR) falling by 1.6%, 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
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Hong Kong’s political woes may also drive wealth business and deposits to the island’s banks. Singapore’s banks face a bright horizon ahead as the country transitions to phase 2 reopening and Hong Kong’s latest political woes drive banking activities to the island, reports UOB Kay Hian. Banks are expected to benefit from an earlier start to the phase 2 reopening of Singapore as the stress on the corporate sector would be reduced.
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