Thu, Jun 22, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Luanda pips HK as most costly for expats: survey

GREENBACK DRAG:Hong Kong is the most expensive territory or city in Asia, because of its currency’s link to the US dollar, which pushes up housing prices

AFP, PARIS

The capital of Angola has overtaken Hong Kong to become the costliest city or territory in the world for expats, Mercer’s annual survey said yesterday.

Dethroned last year by Hong Kong, Luanda regained the dubious honor despite the depreciation of the Angolan kwanza against the US dollar, according to the survey.

While Hong Kong is bounced back down to second place it remains the most expensive Asian territory or city “because of its currency’s link to the [US] dollar, a factor which makes local housing more expensive,” the report said.

This year Tokyo completes the podium, moving up from last year’s fifth place because of the yen’s appreciation and “the dynamism of the housing market” in Japan, according to the report.

The survey compares the cost of more than 200 items in more than 200 cities and territories, including housing, food, transport and entertainment.

It takes New York — in ninth place this year — as its base for comparison and measures currency movements against the US dollar.

The study is closely followed by governments and international businesses which take the rankings into account when they calculate the costs of sending their employees abroad.

Some Russian cities lept up the table in the new survey, with Moscow reaching 14th place from 53rd last year and Saint Petersburg leaping to 36th from 116th “under the twin effects of the rise in the ruble and the cost of goods and services,” the report said.

Main cities in Australia, Brazil and India also marched up the expat costs list.

A lot of European cities were on the way down, particularly in Britain due to the weakness of the British pound. Paris, Vienna and Rome also became less expensive for the expat purse.

At the bottom of the table were Skopje, Bishkek and Tunis.

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