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How Singapore is competing to host Asia's newly minted wealthy

By 2028, Asia's wealthy population will be almost 40% larger than in 2023.

It won't be long until Asia takes the crown from North America as the largest home of ultra-wealthy people, and Singapore has been on the frontlines of this transformation. 

According to Knight Frank, Asia's wealthy population is set to grow faster than any other region, with UHNWIs expected to grow to around 35 a day between 2023 and 2028.

Amongst measures Singapore has implemented to attract Asia's wealthiest include tax incentives and a business-friendly regulatory regime.

These measures aim to encourage 1,100 family offices managing more than US$4t to move to Singapore, according to Knight Frank.

Knight Frank, however, underscored that whilst Singapore has seen a rising number of family offices, its link to "direct spending and investing is not clear cut."

"Last summer, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (AMS) tweaked the incentive son offer to encourage family offices to invest in the country's equity markets, including those aimed at encouraging investment in local climate-related projects," Knight Frank reported.

Citing data from MAS, Knight Frank said family office arrival has had little impact on Singapore's residential property market.

"The challenges for the city is to encourage these private institutions to put down deeper roots -- which should lead to widespread investment," Knight Frank said,

Despite such challenges, Knight Frank believes Singapore's wealth management industry will likely "swell rapidly."

Citing data from BCG, financial wealth booked in Singapore is expected to grow at a rate of 9% through 2027, making the country in the top three wealth management hubs globally alongside Hong Kong and Switzerland.

"The key question for Singapore will be the degree to which it manages to implement a regulatory structure that encourages real investment in the local economy," Knight Frank said.

According to the report, Singapore is seeing success in attracting emerging wealth from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

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