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Salaries

The world’s expatriates are booking a passage to India to get the biggest pay packets

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 February, 2018, 1:23pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 February, 2018, 1:23pm

Go East, expatriates looking to make the big bucks.

Mumbai, India’s financial, commercial and entertainment capital, tops global rankings for expat salaries, according to a survey conducted by HSBC Bank International.

Foreigners moving to the subcontinent’s most populous city reported average annual earnings of US$217,165 (HK$1.699 million). That’s more than double the global expat average of US$99,903, the HSBC Expat survey shows.

Other Asian cities joining Mumbai in the top 10 expat salary rankings were Shanghai, Jakarta and Hong Kong.

While expats in Asia were generally well compensated financially, all -- including Mumbai, the megacity home to more than 18 million people -- ranked lower in expat job opportunities than UK and US destinations such as London, San Francisco, New York, or even Birmingham, according to HSBC.

“The financial and technology hubs of the US and UK are the most attractive for ambitious expats eager to push their career to the next level,” said Dean Blackburn, who heads HSBC Expat.

Dublin, a tech centre in Europe, also ranked in the top five for expat job opportunities, but was below the global average in expat salaries. Nonetheless, 61 per cent of expats in the capital of the Republic of Ireland reported an improved work-life balance.

Switzerland, the nation that has previously topped country rankings for expat salaries, had two cities in the top five. Zurich, home to banks including Credit Suisse Group and UBS Group and a tech hub for firms including Alphabet Inc., reported the third highest expat salaries, while Geneva, the base for some of the world’s biggest commodities traders including Trafigura Group and Mercuria Energy Group, was fifth.

Despite Switzerland’s notorious living costs, the country’s high salaries and low personal tax rates saw 77 per cent of expats in Zurich report that their disposable income had increased since moving. In fact, over half of Zurich expats reported that they are living in a better dwelling than they did at home even with the Swiss city’s expensive rental and property markets.

And while Berlin and Prague rank toward the bottom of HSBC’s list of 52, the majority of expats in those cities said the cost of living is affordable.

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