London cheaper for expats than Hong Kong or Geneva

Published:  19 Jun at 9 AM
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London is now a cheaper city to live in for expats than Geneva, Hong Kong and the Angolan capital Luanda revealed a new study.

The British capital came 12th in the latest cost of living poll, which looked at the priciest cities for multinational companies to base their expatriate employees.

The news may come as a surprise for HSBC as it considers changing its headquarters from London to Hong Kong, with the East Asian city being named the world’s second most expensive city to base expat staff.

The study, which is conducted annually by Mercer, revealed that Luanda, the capital and mining centre of Angola in southwest Africa, is now the most expensive place in the world to base expat staff.

Meanwhile, the major financial centres of Zurich, Singapore and Geneva completed the top five.

The average cost of an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment for expatriate staff costs £4,441 per month, in comparison to £3,200 for locals, according to the study.

Mercer noted that foreign exchange costs and currency fluctuations were both major factors when it came to expats’ living costs, with the buoyant dollar having a big impact on European workers.

Spokesman Ellyn Karetnik said that because of the constant changes, expat pay packages had to be frequently reviewed, explaining that local circumstances changed quickly so organisations needed to adjust pay levels accordingly to make sure they managed their costs and held on to their talented staff.
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