Singapore, a low-tax haven of security and stability, has become a regional hub for Asia’s wealthy. As a result, some ultra-rich Taiwanese have looked for alternative places like Singapore to move their cash, firms, and loved ones. The move came after Beijing intensified its bellicose rhetoric about Taiwan.
According to the South China Morning Post, some affluent Taiwanese families had been worried about the possibility of war. Especially after a trip from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan back in August, which angered Beijing. In response, Beijing launched significant multi-day joint military exercises around the island.
Jacky Li, who heads Standard Chartered’s Greater China private banking team for extremely wealthy clients, said, “They are now looking at more holistic planning. Not just some asset diversification that they have been doing all this while, but also overall relocation plans for both their families and businesses.”
According to Li, inquiries from Taiwan have surged around four times compared to a year ago. Business owners in sectors such as semiconductors and healthcare made up most of these inquiries.
Li added, “The rich really want to find a backup solution. Some of them want to have a second passport somewhere else.”
Rich Taiwanese have reportedly been diversifying their assets recently, including in Singapore.
Li said Pelosi’s visit in August to Taiwan was one concern among many other factors for his clients.
China views Taiwan as its territory. It repeatedly vowed to use force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.
Besides Taiwan, many other countries see Singapore as a safe place to keep their money.
According to Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao report on August 3, ten thousand Chinese “High Net Worth Individuals” want to flee the country. Some 500 Chinese are looking to get away to Singapore. They could take at least $2.4 billion in wealth with them.
According to Forbes, a high-net-worth individual is “a person who owns liquid assets valued at $1 million or more.”