Xi's Crackdowns Drive Chinese Billionaires to Booming Singapore
Comment of the Day

November 15 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Xi's Crackdowns Drive Chinese Billionaires to Booming Singapore

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Singapore doesn’t provide detailed statistics about where its wealthy immigrants come from. But the explosive rise in family offices are symptomatic of the attraction for Chinese tycoons. The number of these offices almost doubled to about 700 at the end of 2021 from the previous year. While China’s wealthy aren’t the only drivers of the growth, some service providers say they are by far the largest market.

Michael Marquardt, whose firm IQ-EQ Asia helps set up family offices, said the number of inquiries from Chinese clients jumped about 25% to 50% just before and after the Party Congress. Vikna Rajah, head of tax and trust at law firm Rajah and Tann Singapore LLP, said in June that more than 30% of the clients he’s helped apply for family office tax exemptions are from Greater China, including Hong Kong.

“There’s definitely been an increase in interest,” Marquardt said. “Entrepreneurs who have done well and taken their companies public are interested in parking their international wealth in a place like Singapore.”

Eoin Treacy's view

The natural comparison is between Singapore and Hong Kong because they are both in Asia with majority Chinese populations. However, the better comparison for Singapore is with Switzerland and Luxembourg. The city state’s economy is much more focused  wealth management and the buy side than the sell side/capital markets expertise of Hong Kong.

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