HK expats best paid in world, says HSBC

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 July, 2008, 12:00am

Expatriates in Hong Kong are the best paid in the world, although the city is only the fifth best place for them to live - well behind Singapore, which came top in that category - according to a survey by HSBC.

Almost half the expats in Hong Kong earn more than US$200,000 a year, according to the bank's first Expat Explorer Survey, for which 2,155 expatriate staff in 49 countries and territories were interviewed.

Forty-two per cent of expatriates in Hong Kong said they had been able to save more money since coming to the city. But 53 per cent of expats in Hong Kong found the quality of their accommodation was worse than in their home country and 60 per cent said they needed to spend more on housing than at home.

Almost three-quarters, 74 per cent, of expats living in Singapore said their quality of accommodation there was better than at home, the highest score in the study.

Participants were asked to rate, on a scale of one to 15, four aspects of living standards - how long expats stay in a place, their ability to earn and save there, the quality and cost of accommodation and the level of luxury they enjoy.

Hong Kong scored poorly on expat accommodation, getting only four points. Its overall score was 10. Singapore scored 13 points overall, with the United Arab Emirates second, the United States third and Belgium fourth.

Singapore ranked top on accommodation, second for luxury living and was joint second with Hong Kong, behind India, for ability to save.