Over a fifth of wealthy individuals in Singapore planning move abroad in next five years with China top destination: Survey

Nearly half of China's super-wealthy individuals are considering leaving the country, a survey said Monday, with most citing better overseas educational and employment opportunities for their children. -- PHOTO: AFP
Nearly half of China's super-wealthy individuals are considering leaving the country, a survey said Monday, with most citing better overseas educational and employment opportunities for their children. -- PHOTO: AFP

Over a fifth of wealthy individuals in Singapore are planning to move abroad in the next five years, a survey by Barclays Wealth has shown, with China being their top destination. There were 100 respondents from Singapore.

According to the survey report, The Rise Of The Global Citizen, 23 per cent of the wealthy individuals in Singapore who were surveyed are setting their sights on new horizons, driven by economic factors such as pursuing an international career, cited by 43 per cent; greater economic opportunity, cited by 35 per cent; and wanting to experience another culture, cited by 30 per cent.

Over a third of them have already lived in more than one country, with over one in 10 having lived in three or more countries.

The respondents surveyed each had at least US$1 million (S$1.26 million) of investable assets.

Of those planning to relocate in the next five years, a third said their top destination would be China, 22 per cent named the United States, while 13 per cent chose Canada or Hong Kong.

Among respondents who grew up Singapore but later moved abroad, 88 per cent have since returned home. Barclays said this reflects a wider trend among the globally wealthy in that they typically return to their roots after living abroad. 

Across global markets, nearly half, or 47 per cent, of wealthy respondents in China and over a third in Qatar and Latin America are considering a move, compared with just 7 per cent in Japan, 6 per cent in the US and 4 per cent in Switzerland.

While the Chinese and Qatari wealthy are the most driven by better educational and employment opportunities for their children, those in Latin America are looking to have better economic security, the survey showed.

Barclays interviewed 2,000 respondents worldwide for the survey, 400 of whom were from Asia Pacific excluding Japan.