Education costlier but business class flights cheaper for Asia's rich: Julius Baer survey

Singapore Airlines (SIA) new business class seat on Boeing 777-300 ER. The cost of business-class flights to London and New York have dropped in all cities, except Manila, where they have risen 4 per cent. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Singapore Airlines (SIA) new business class seat on Boeing 777-300 ER. The cost of business-class flights to London and New York have dropped in all cities, except Manila, where they have risen 4 per cent. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES

SINGAPORE - Throwing a wedding banquet at a top hotel in Singapore today would set you back 14 per cent more than last year, but getting a tailored men's suit for the big day will cost 8 per cent less now.

According to the latest Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, it costs US$78,633 to to hold a wedding party for 250 guests at a top hotel here.

This makes Singapore the sixth most expensive city where you could throw such a party, among 11 Asian cities studied by the private bank.

In Tokyo where it is costliest, the same banquet would come with a price tag of US$130,956 - 8 per cent less than last year.

The lifestyle index, which compiles the prices of 20 goods and services often used by the wealthy across 11 cities, has found that Asia's rich now have to pay more for their children's education.

Across the board, university fees are up 21 to 44 per cent in local currency terms, with the sharpest rise seen in Tokyo.

Boarding school fees have risen 7 to 28 per cent in these cities from a year ago, with Tokyo again witnessing the fastest increase.

The cities studied include Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Seoul, Taipei and Jakarta.

Ladies' shoes cost more in all 11 cities except Singapore, where prices for fancy heels such as those from Christian Louboutin have stayed flat.

However the cost of business-class flights to London and New York have dropped in all cities, except Manila, where they have risen 4 per cent.

Residential property prices are either lower or flat in most of the cities, except in Seoul, Jakarta and Tokyo, where they are up 11 to 24 per cent.