Asia’s most Wealthy Scouting for Bolt-on Businesses in Singapore

May 12, 2020

South China Morning Post reports that most of the regions’ ultra-wealthy have asked private bankers at UBS to funnel fresh funds into Singapore rather than Hong Kong and that Asian tycoons are now cashed up and scouting for their next big venture in Singapore.

According to the region’s largest wealth manager, Singapore has been overwhelmingly chosen over rival international financial center Hong Kong for a place for the rich to grow their wealth. Edmund Koh, UBS’ president in the Asia-Pacific region has expressed that many individuals possessing high-net-worth have instructed their private bankers to place their fresh funds into Singapore rather than Hong Kong, and opener more new accounts in Singapore than usual.

Hong Kong’s coronavirus-ravaged economy has suffered its worst decline on record, shrinking 8.9 per cent year on year in the first quarter, and sparked an appeal from the city’s finance chief for unity to face the grim months ahead

However, many industries in Singapore have strong state support, despite recovery being slow after COVID-19 but long-term outlook remains bright and Singapore could emerge as an even stronger hub. That said, even if Singapore’s circuit breaker measures are effective enough for Singapore to consider opening up again, there needs to be enough confidence that the virus is contained domestically as well as internationally.

As Singapore sits in the middle of the worst crisis to hit the economy and acknowledge that it could be 2023 before the economy returns to 2019 levels, Singapore continues to make the right moves in keeping the nation safe as well as calculating the recovery of the country. Despite the certainty of the pace of international recovery which will be painfully slow, Singapore remains a shining beacon of hope for investors in turbulent times.

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