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Singapore no.4 in survey: Most expensive city for expats

Asia has become one of the most expensive regions for people working abroad, according to a new survey, with its major cities accounting for half of the top 10 costliest expat destinations.

Singapore remained at 4th place this year, Mercer said in its annual Cost of Living Survey on Tuesday, with Luanda, Angola, topping the list.

Hong Kong climbed one place from last year to become the world’s second-most expensive place for expats. Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul also made the shortlist.

By contrast, Tokyo, ranked the most expensive city for expats in 2012, fell four places from last year to No. 11 due to a slump in the Japanese currency after a massive easing programme by its central bank.

Leading the rankings was the Angolan capital Luanda, which retained its top spot due to the high price of imported goods and security services used by many foreigners. The survey by the Mercer consulting group compares the cost of over 200 items in 207 cities, including housing, food, transport and entertainment.It takes New York as its base city for comparison, and measures currency movements against the dollar, which has appreciated significantly from a year ago as the health of the US economy has improved.