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Singapore sixth most expensive Asian city

Singapore: The strong Singapore dollar has made the island state the sixth most expensive city in Asia for expatriate living, according to an international cost survey agency.

ECA International said prices of goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees have risen at much faster rates in Singapore than in other developed locations in the region.

Comparatively, New Delhi was ranked the 38th most expensive Asian city, with Mumbai rated 43rd, Bangalore 46th, Chennai 47th, Hyderabad 48th, Pune 50th, and Kolkata 51st.

Other South Asian cities in the ratings were Colombo (42), Dhaka (44), Islamabad (52) and Karachi (53).

Elaborating on Singapore, ECA International said goods and services in the city state now cost almost 3 per cent more than in Hong Kong, reversing a year ago trend when these cost 5 per cent more in Hong Kong.

Singapore was now more expensive for international assignees than Hong Kong, New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Shanghai.

The city state rose to the 36th spot from 68th in the global ranking in one year, said the company, which provides solutions for firms sending their staff overseas.

Lee Quane, ECA International`s regional director (Asia), said the strong Singapore dollar was the main reason for Singapore`s rise in the ranking over the past 12 months.

The Singapore dollar has risen by more than 10 per cent against the US dollar over the year.

Companies bringing staff into Singapore would see allowances increasing, as Singapore continues to rise on the ranking table.

Asia`s most expensive cities are: 1) Tokyo, 2) Nagoya, 3) Yokohama, 4) Kobe, 5) Seoul, 6) Singapore, 7) Hong Kong, 8) Beijing, 9) Shanghai and 10) Busan.

Overall, Tokyo continue to maintain its position as the world`s most expensive city, followed by Oslo, Nagoya, Stavanger in Norway, Yokohoma, Zurich, Angola`s capital Luanda, Geneva, Kobe and the Swiss capital of Bern.

Japan was the only Asian country surveyed where the actual cost of goods in the ECA basket of goods has fallen.

But a strong currency and already higher costs for goods mean that the cost of living for assignees is significantly more than in other locations in the top ten ranking.

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