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Singaporeans biggest savers in Southeast Asia: survey

Stocks emerged as the most popular investment choice.

Singaporeans are well ahead of their Southeast Asian peers in managing finances proficiently as they were found to be the biggest savers and the most keen to invest in the region, according to a survey by Milieu Insight.

In its report, Personal Finance & Investment Habits in Southeast Asia, Milieu found that 36% of respondents in Singapore save more than a quarter of their income after deducting expenses and debt repayments, beating the 21% regional average.

At the bottom of the ranking are Indonesia, Thailand and The Philipppines where only half of citizens can set aside up to 10% of their income for savings.

Meanwhile, 87% in Singapore make sure to pay in full their credit card bills every month, surpassing neighbours by a huge margin. Malaysia and the Philippines ranked second and third, respectively, with roughly half of the respondents in each country diligently meeting credit card dues.

Stocks emerged as the most popular investment choice among Singaporeans, followed by fixed deposit plans and bonds, respectively. Building wealth over time, meanwhile, was their top motivation to invest (72%) much higher than the regional average (49%).

“Established banks remain popular choices, but more investors in Singapore opt for independent investment platforms,” Milieu said. “This trend suggests a growing preference for digital investment solutions among tech-savvy Singaporeans.”

The survey polled 3,100 respondents in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines from January to February, to understand the financial behavior of Southeast Asians, including their saving habits, credit card ownership and payment habits.

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