Hong Kong’s wealthy target: Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. (in this order)

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As a Malaysian, I do not wish for Malaysia to be the place where the wealthy foreigners buy too many properties that move the property prices up faster than salary growth of the locals. Fortunately, we have no such worry, yet. Many advanced property markets do have that worry and we could see very clearly that as soon as there are some uncertainties, the property prices in areas where these foreigners are concentrated may be more volatile than the properties bought by the locals for their own stay. Moving on to the potential that some wealth may be moved into Malaysia due to the uncertainty in Hong Kong currently.

Article in bloomberg.com Heads of UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and Standard Chartered Plc said that the Hong Kong’s wealthy are opening more offshore accounts but the wealth transfer has not happened yet. Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters said, “We’ve seen clients open accounts in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, in that order.”

Sergio Ermotti, the chief of UBS, said the Swiss bank has seen clients “activating contingency plans.” Tidjane Thiam CEO of Credit Suisse said, that people are taking a wait-and-see approach and there has been no big outflows or significant movement from clients. Please do read the comprehensive article in bloomberg.com here.

if you read the article carefully, it says that the Hong Kong wealthy are looking at Malaysia as the second choice, behind Singapore and is ahead of Taiwan. A good friend told me just a few weeks ago that his two daughters are now studying in universities in China. Both of them were from the private Chinese schools in Malaysia and the graduates of these private Chinese schools usually continue their tertiary education in Taiwan. He said that these days, most of them will go to China’s universities instead of those in Taiwan.

Frankly, to ignore the powerful economic power called China is going to be a mistake. Perhaps the next best thing is on how best to prosper together instead of winner-takes-all mentality. My sincere wish remains the same, that Hong Kong will soon start to return to normalcy. It’s still my favourite place to visit and I have been to Hong Kong probably 7 times? Or more. Happy understanding that property investment is part of wealth accumulation and wealth accumulated will need to continuously be protected.

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