Singapore expected to be No. 2 on ultra-rich list by 2023

SINGAPORE - Singapore is tipped to have the second-highest number of ultra-rich people among the world's cities by 2023, a new report says.

London would be in the top spot, according to the Wealth Report released by property consultancy Knight Frank yesterday.

Singapore would also be the Asian city with the most people with at least US$30 million (S$38 million) in net assets in 2023, beating Tokyo to the top spot.

"Singapore is growing in prominence (in the) wealth management sector and as a key regional financial hub," Ms Alice Tan, research head at Knight Frank, said at a briefing. "Over the medium term when (the ultra wealthy) want to look at other factors to invest or base themselves, they look at quality of life, education system, cultural similarity in other regions in Asia. So they start to see Singapore as one key bright spot."

She added that a conducive business environment and tax regime, political stability as well as the Republic's rising status as an important financial hub have underpinned Singapore's popularity with the ultra wealthy.

The report, based on a survey of 23,000 respondents each worth US$68 million on average, predicted Singapore will have 4,878 of these wealthy people in 10 years, up 55 per cent from last year.

New York would topple Hong Kong to take third place in 2023.

Although the report noted that Singapore is now in third place as the city that mattered most to these wealthy individuals, Hong Kong will leapfrog Singapore to take its place in 2024 because of its role as a gateway city to China.

"The main battleground is Asia, where a handful of locations are slugging it out in the hope of establishing a clear lead as the region's alpha urban hub," said Mr Nicholas Holt, Asia-Pacific research head at Knight Frank.

Asia was also tipped to be home to 58,588 people with more than US$30 million in net assets in the next decade, overtaking North America, while the number of billionaires in Asia will also surpass Europe's.

Separately, Singaporeans with more than US$30 million in net assets chose their home country as the most popular place to buy an investment property. This was despite seven rounds of cooling measures, and stricter financing rules.


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