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Singapore is Becoming The New Wealth Magnet in Asia

Singapore is Becoming The New Wealth Magnet in Asia

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  • Post last modified:July 4, 2024

Singapore has emerged as a beacon for the affluent in recent years, attracting significant wealth and investment from across Asia. But what’s driving this influx of wealth? Let’s delve into the factors making Singapore the go-to destination for the region’s rich.

Singapore’s allure lies in its political stability, robust legal system, and strategic location. As geopolitical tensions rise, particularly between the US and China, businesses and high-net-worth individuals are seeking safer havens for their investments. Singapore, with its reputation for stability and a business-friendly environment, stands out as a prime choice.

A recent report by Henley & Partners, the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2024, reveals a significant shift in global wealth migration patterns. It forecasts a record-breaking movement of millionaires, with an estimated 128,000 high-net-worth individuals expected to relocate globally this year. Among the top destinations, Singapore ranks third, with a net inflow of 3,500 millionaires. This influx is fueled by wealthy individuals from countries like China, the UK, and India seeking stability and growth opportunities.

Geopolitical instability, economic uncertainty, and changing tax regimes are key drivers behind this mass exodus. China, once a burgeoning hub of wealth, is predicted to experience the largest outflow of millionaires, with 15,200 expected to leave this year. The UK’s ongoing political turmoil and India’s economic challenges also contribute to their wealthy citizens seeking greener pastures.

In contrast, countries like the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Singapore are becoming magnets for these high-net-worth individuals. With its zero-income tax policy and luxurious lifestyle, the UAE leads the pack, while the US and Singapore follow closely behind.

Singapore’s Surging Wealth

In recent years, Singapore has become a magnet for high-net-worth individuals, leading to a remarkable increase in the number of family offices. Local statistics reveal that the number of family offices is projected to reach around 700 in 2021, more than tripling from the previous year. Today, over 1,000 family offices operate in Singapore, underscoring the city-state’s growing appeal to the wealthy.

Forbes Asia’s “Singapore Rich List 2023” highlights this trend, with the minimum wealth required for inclusion to the list rising to USD 750 million, up from last year’s USD 705 million. The combined wealth of those on the list has surged to USD 177 billion, with over half of the individuals experiencing an increase in their net worth. Among the top 10 richest individuals, nine are Chinese immigrants from China, further illustrating the city’s draw for international wealth.

Amid this backdrop of wealth migration, Cathay Financial Holding, Taiwan’s largest financial firm by assets, is expanding its private banking team in Singapore. Cathay United Bank, a subsidiary, plans to double its headcount in the city-state by 2025. This strategic move highlights how financial firms are pivoting to Singapore to capitalize on the shifting regional money flows.

Shophouse Become A Safe Haven for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals

The real estate market in Singapore is currently going through a rapid growth, especially in the sought-after “shophouse” segment. These historic buildings, which date back to the colonial era, are highly regarded for their distinct architectural charm and historical importance. The first quarter of this year witnessed a significant 52.2% surge in shophouse sales compared to the previous quarter, amounting to an impressive SGD 169.1 million.

Shophouses, with their distinctive blend of commercial and residential spaces, have become highly sought-after assets. High-profile buyers, such as Jack Ma’s wife and Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan, are snapping up these properties. This trend reflects a broader movement among wealthy individuals to invest in unique, tangible assets that offer both aesthetic appeal and financial stability.

For ultra-high-net-worth individuals, Singapore’s shophouses are more than just real estate; they are symbols of status and serve as safe havens for wealth preservation. Loyalle Chin, director at Propnex, a major real estate agency in Singapore, notes that only those with substantial financial resources can afford these exclusive properties. These individuals are seeking safe havens to preserve their wealth.

▲Singapore’s shophouses are symbols of status and safe havens for preserving wealth.
▲Singapore’s shophouses are symbols of status and safe havens for preserving wealth.



The trend of wealth migration to Singapore is expected to continue without slowing down. As geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties persist, Singapore’s appeal as a safe, stable, and prosperous destination will only increase. This presents a unique opportunity for the city-state to strengthen its position as a global financial hub and a magnet for the world’s affluent.