07 Jun 2017
Hong Kong overtook Tokyo as the most expensive city in Asia-Pacific for expatriates, and is second globally, according to consultancy firm ECA International. Thanks to the pound, London is now cheaper than Bangkok.
Hong Kong climbed to its highest position ever on the rankings. Tokyo maintained its No. 7 spot globally while Singapore fell to 24th place. London, at 132nd, is now cheaper than Thailand’s capital, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Luanda in oil-rich Angola climbed to the top spot.
“Over the past few years, the Hong Kong dollar has appreciated against most major currencies, owing to its peg to the U.S. dollar, which has pushed up the price of goods and services relative to those in locations whose currencies have weakened against the greenback,” Lee Quane, a regional director for Asia with ECA, said in a statement Wednesday.
While local prices have risen in Singapore, the city state’s currency has weakened against counterparts over the past 12 months making relative costs cheaper than a year ago, Quane said. For Luanda, goods’ costs -- already high due to poor infrastructure -- have risen as the Angolan kwanza becomes increasingly overvalued. (Source: Bloomberg)