Russia No. 1 in wealth hotspot, says HSBC expat survey
The 2010 Expat Explorer Survey sends Russia to No. 1 for the second year in a row as a hotspot for wealthy expats with the largest disposable income, says HSBC Expat.The 2010 Expat Explorer Survey results conducted by HSBC Expat put Russia at No. 1 for the second year in a row as a hotspot for wealth, disposable income and overall top ranking in the Expat Economics report.
For its third year in a row, HSBC Expat continued their annual survey, upping the total sample to over 4,000 expats in more than 100 countries who completed questionnaires related to essentials such as business, quality of life and family environments.
Expat Economics is the first of three reports, revealing the economic climate among expats in 25 countries ranked by measurements in finance and economics. Two pending reports on expat lifestyle and family are set to be released by the end of this year.
Russia ranks and rakes in finance
Expats in Russia remain the wealthiest worldwide – over one-third earn over USD 250,000, and 86 percent of expats say they have a more disposable income since moving.
Moscow is continuously ranked by Mercer Consulting as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but 76 percent of expats surveyed in Russia have been able to save more income since moving.
"People are tending to move to BRIC countries, and they’re faring well economically," says Lisa Wood, head of marketing for HSBC Expat in Jersey.
"Expats are earning more, the economy is growing, career opportunities are better in BRIC countries; these things follow one another."
Due to such impressively-high finance advantages, Russia is seen as a prime location for those looking to progress with economic opportunity. Of the expats surveyed, 76 percent of those moving to Russia cite their main reason being financial gain.
"We have to look at the packages that motivate people to go to BRIC countries; it’s probably those that are financially developing," says Noeleen Doherty, senior research fellow at Cranfield University School of Management in Bedord, England. "Besides money, why else would a BRIC country expatriation be attractive?"
Though 24 percent of expats in Moscow moved there for the finance and bank industry itself, the remaining 76 percent aimed to see a wage rise in their existing occupation.
Traces of a short romance
Despite tremendous gain in income, the cost of living in Russia still sits high for expats –- of the surveyed expats 76 percent in Russia say food, drink are more expensive than in their homeland. Another chunk of 55 percent agree that housing is pricier.
Still, expats in Moscow are more likely to have domestic assistance, own more than one propoerty and take more vacation when compared to their country of origin.
"Money is not always the answer. Career opportunity upon return, importance of host location, the element of choosing, cultural distance, political instability, schooling for children… Packages vary considerably, and companies have to be careful on what they offer," says Doherty.
Overall, trends note that many expats in BRIC countries are repatriating their investments. Woods notes that BRIC countries have shown trends that suggest expats in these host countries do not necessarily want to raise a family there long term.
"We can observe that people come to BRIC countries to work three to five years with intentions to go back," says Doherty.
Economics in Russia still concern expats in the country, as 45 percent see the finance climate worsening over the past year. Expats in Russia were also least likely to agree that their host country had improved economically in the past year compared to expats in other BRIC countries.
The majority of expats sampled in Russia are from the United Kingdom (42 percent), 82 percent are men, and over half are between the ages of 35 and 54.
Audrey Sykes / Editor / Expatica
Photos: alancleaver_2000, natloans
Click here for more information on the Expat Explorer surveys.