SINGAPORE: The 2024 World’s Richest Cities Report from Henley & Partners has highlighted one aspect between rival regional finance hubs Singapore and Hong Kong: While the number of millionaires in Singapore has increased, the opposite has happened in Hong Kong.

The report, which was released on Tuesday (May 7), ranked Singapore as the fourth wealthiest city in the world, while Hong Kong is now ranked ninth. While Singapore has climbed up one spot on the list from the 2023 rankings, Hong Kong has fallen by two spots.

Read also: Number of millionaires in Singapore soars by over 60%, making SG the 4th wealthiest nation in the world

For the sake of comparison, Singapore has 244,800 millionaires, 336 centi-millionaires, and 30 billionaires, a whopping 64 per cent increase in millionaires from 2013 to 2023. Hong Kong, meanwhile, has 143,400 millionaires, 320 centi-millionaires, and 35 billionaires, showing a 4 per cent decline in millionaires in the same period.

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In its report, Henley & Partners noted that Singapore is widely considered to be the most business-friendly city, as well as one of the top destinations for millionaires looking to relocate. Last year alone, around 3,400 HNWIs (High Net Worth Individuals) moved to Singapore. In contrast, last year’s Henley Private Wealth Migration Report said that 1,000 HNWIs were expected to leave Hong Kong in 2023.

Bloomberg tackled the issue in a May 8 video, noting that some of the wealthy expats in Hong Kong had left for Singapore.

“Yes, we’ve seen some millionaires move away from Hong Kong and into Singapore,” said Bloomberg’s wealth reporter Claire Valentine.

“That’s affected the rankings in this latest wealth survey. That’s kind of been the trend in the past ten years,” she said, noting as well the rivalry between the two cities.

When asked if Singapore can sustain its position near the top ten on the list, Ms Valentine replied, “We’ll see. We’ll have to see. A lot of the wealth gains over the past 10 years in this ranking have been driven by global equity market gains. We’ve seen financial markets around the world really increase in the past decade.”

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However, she noted the geopolitical issues and other reasons for people to move and change locations. What becomes more attractive to people in terms of where to move to in the future remains to be seen.

“But at least for now we’re seeing Hong Kong on the decline and Singapore rising, “ she added. /TISG

Read also: More multinational companies choose Singapore over Hong Kong—Bloomberg report