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Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 18:35

HK most expensive Chinese city for expats

By Lin Wenjie

HK most expensive Chinese city for expats

HONG KONG - Hong Kong has become the second most-expensive location for expatriates in Asia, overtaking Tier 1 mainland cities for the first time in five years and going up two places from last year’s fourth position, reveals the latest semi-annual cost-of-living survey by London-based human resource consultancy ECA International.

In comparison, most mainland cities included fell in the ranking amid a weak yuan and relatively low levels of inflation. Shanghai, which ranked as the most expensive location for expatriates in the Asia-Pacific region a year ago, moved down two places to third most-expensive, while the top spot was taken by Tokyo. The Japanese capital’s rise from seventh place in the regional rankings last year was attributed to the appreciation of the yen in recent months.

From a global perspective, Hong Kong is the ninth most-expensive for expatriates, up three places from last year’s 12th position. Shanghai is ranked 10th, followed by Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The report took the prices of a basket of over 160 goods and services between March and September into consideration. But housing factors were excluded because international employers usually count housing allowance separately.

"Hong Kong's rise up the rankings is largely due to the strength of its currency in the past 12 months," said Lee Quane, Asia regional director at ECA. "The Hong Kong dollar appreciated against most major currencies owing to its peg to the US dollar. That means it has become more and more expensive for companies to send employees to Hong Kong."

On average, prices in the basket of goods for Hong Kong increased by 2.2 percent over the year to March 2016.

HK most expensive Chinese city for expats

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