Singapore captivates Chinese investors

Updated: 2012-11-19 15:48

By Tom McGregor (

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Singapore captivates Chinese investors

Tom McGregor

Singapore holds a remarkable reputation as a stable, peaceful and affluent city-state. Its business-friendly government policies have sparked rapid economic growth for the past few decades that has attracted foreign investors from all over the globe.

The city-state has enjoyed much success as a trading port city, good market for exporting companies, strong banking sector and a bustling Singapore Stock Exchange. Accordingly, many Chinese business people seek to diversify their overseas investments by pouring more cash into Singapore.

"China's wealthy have picked up the pace of diversifying overseas and Singapore is one of their preferred destinations, said Carol Chen, managing director, Barclay's Bank plc," as reported by AsiaOne news.

It added, "even the scrapping of the fast-tracked residency scheme this year has not dented the flow of China's money into Singapore, which is seen as a safe haven, she said."

Investment banking in Singapore appears to be the top draw for grabbing larger foreign direct investment inflows. The Boston Consulting Group disclosed that Singapore holds approximately $512 billion of private-banking assets as of 2010, which is the largest such pool of cash in Asia.

Yet that's according to figures cited from two years ago. The latest report by Capgemimi, noted that the number of millionaires has risen to about 735,000 across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the island of Taiwan.

Many Chinese wealthy are showing that supply-side economics really does work as they engage in more spending sprees for luxury goods, instead of just saving their money in banks as many of the have been doing for the past few decades.

"A recent trend has been for requests for aviation and yacht financing and single stock lending," Chen told AsiaOne. "Clients are buying planes and yachts for both personal and business use. Aircraft costs between $20 million and $40 million, while luxury yachts can cost up to $100 million."

Purchasing such products can boost China's aviation and boating sectors as well. It's more affordable to manufacture private jets and yachts in China, but Singapore's banking sector offers better financing channels for potential clients.

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