Chinese companies and tycoons are in a money transfer frenzy, Singapore the top choice

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A Chinese tycoon from Fujian Province recently purchased 20 units at Canninghill Piers, a luxury condominium development in Singapore. More and more Chinese tycoons are afraid to leave much of their money in mainland China and move their assets overseas. In this fever of asset transfers, Singapore has become the first safe haven of choice.

Although the Singapore government tried to cool its real estate market through the Supplementary Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), a tax that raised the price of a property by 30% if bought by a foreigner, this does not prevent foreign tycoons from owning the country’s properties.

Lianhe Zaobao recently published an article saying that a buyer from Fujian, China recently purchased 20 units from Canninghill Piers for over SGD 85 million (about $61.2 million).

According to people familiar with the matter, Lianhe Zaobao revealed that the mysterious buyer paid with money transferred from Indonesia. Of the 20 units he bought, half of them were three-bedroom units priced between 3.1 million and 3.3 million SGD (approximately 2.25 to 2.39 million). dollars); the other 10 units were four-bedroom units priced between SGD$5.3-5.6 million (approximately $3.85-$4.07 million).

The person also said that the same buyer was considering buying 10 more units, which would bring his total spend to over SGD100 million (about $73 million). This means that with this transaction alone, the Singapore government will be able to collect stamp duty revenue of approximately SGD$30 million (approximately $21.81 million).

People working in the real estate industry told Lianhe Zaobao that many foreign tycoons choose to immigrate to Singapore due to concerns such as an unstable political and business climate in the chain, therefore the real estate transactions of foreigners could be higher than the official data published by the government.

Chinese tycoons, Singapore’s new immigrants

Over the past few decades, Singapore has been seen as an attractive location for entrepreneurs and the middle class from countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. But the wealth landscape has been reshaped with an intrusive new force of Chinese super-rich who have immigrated there over the past decade.

In Forbes’ 36th annual list of global billionaires, released in April this year, Li Xiting, founder and chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, became Singapore’s richest man with a net worth of 16.5. billions of dollars.

Li Xiting, 71, a naturalized citizen of Singapore, was born into an ordinary family in China’s Anhui Province and graduated from China University of Technology. At the age of 40, Li went into business in Shenzhen in 1991 and co-founded Mindray with several colleagues from Shenzhen Anke High-tech Co., Ltd. Mindray, headquartered in Shenzhen, is China’s largest medical equipment manufacturer.

According to Forbes’ list, four of the 10 richest Singaporeans are Chinese immigrants. Namely Zhang Yong, founder and CEO of Haidilao, a hotpot restaurant company. Zhang ranked 6th with a net worth of $6 billion (as of June 9, 2022).

Zhang was ranked Singapore’s richest man in 2019 with a net worth of 13.8 billion at the time. As the ‘new elite’ in Singapore, he disrupted the old social elite circle led by those with ‘old money’. Prior to Zhang, brothers Robert and Philip Ng of property developer Far East Organization were ranked Singapore’s wealthiest for 10 years.

In 7th place is Forrest Li Xiaodong of Sea Limited, an online game company and e-commerce company. Sea co-founder and COO Gang Ye is ranked 10th, with a net worth of $2.8 billion (as of June 9, 2022). Sea’s 3 main subsidiaries focus on gaming, e-commerce and digital payments, as well as financial services companies Garena, Shopee and SeaMoney.

Other Chinese Singaporeans on the list include Tao Zhao, founder of Shandong Buchang Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, who ranked 13th. And Zhong Sheng Jian, founder, chairman and CEO of Yanlord Land Group, a property developer, ranked 20th with a net worth of $1.5 billion (as of June 9, 2022).

More and more affluent Chinese are setting up family offices in Singapore.

Singapore companies are helping wealthy Chinese people transfer their assets through family offices.

A family office is a private company that handles the investment management and wealth management of a wealthy family. In Singapore, it costs at least SGD$10 million (about $7.26 million) to set up a family office.
In the past, the first choice of the wealthy was Hong Kong, but now Singapore seems to be more popular.

According to data from the Economic Development Board, the number of family offices in Singapore increased fivefold from 2017 to 2019. This rate increased further during the pandemic, at the end of 2020 Singapore had 400 Single Family Offices, and the number continues to grow. increase.

Singapore family office fund inflows and sources are kept private by the Singapore government.

Caixin Media published an article on June 6, claiming that the Monetary Authority of Singapore had replied to Caixin that it did not have authoritative data on the number of single family offices and capital inflows.

A wealth management veteran in Singapore told Caixin Media that “this time Singapore is winning so easily.”

Mainland companies also choose Singapore

Besides tycoons seeking refuge, some mainland Chinese businessmen, for reasons such as development, saturation of Chinese markets or “involution” (neijuan), choose to expand their operations in South Asia -is and many choose to establish their headquarters in Singapore.

Major gaming companies Tencent, ByteDance, miHoYo, and Yoozoo Games either have their headquarters or set up a branch in Singapore.

Some tech companies are also choosing to expand overseas in response to growing geopolitical risks and supply chain issues. A person familiar with the matter told Caixin Media that a Shanghai semiconductor company with annual revenue of $1 billion is considering setting up a new structure in Singapore.

Additionally, with the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing regulation of cryptocurrency, some blockchain professionals are choosing to relocate to Singapore.

The founding partners of Boyu Capital Investment Management, a private equity firm, Sean Tong and Zixin Zhang immigrated to Singapore and moved some of the company’s operations from the Hong Kong headquarters to Singapore. The company was founded by Alvin Jiang, a grandson of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.

People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that Boyu began his move to Singapore because he feared Jiang’s political influence would fall. Compared to Hong Kong, the Singapore branch would be their refuge from the political chaos within the Chinese Communist Party.

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Jessica Mao is a staff writer for The Epoch Times and focuses on China-related topics. She started writing for the Chinese language edition in 2009.

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