London is cheaper to base expat staff than Hong Kong or Geneva

Michael Bow
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London came 12th in the cost of living poll (Source: Getty)
HSBC bankers and mining expats look away now: London is cheaper to live than Hong Kong, Geneva and the mining capital of Angola, Luanda, according to a new study.
London came 12th in the cost of living poll, which assessed the costliest places for multinational organisations to base their expatriate staff – well behind rival financial centres like Hong Kong and Geneva.
HSBC is mulling plans to shift its new headquarters from London to Hong Kong but bosses may have second thoughts after the study revealed the territory as the second most expensive place on earth of base staff.
Zurich, Singapore and Geneva came hot on its heels in the poll, which is compiled annually by Mercer.
The most expensive place to base staff globally is Luanda, the capital of Angola, known for its iron ore and diamond production.
Rent on a two bedroom unfurnished apartment in the capital costs £4,441 a month, according to the study, compared to £3,200 in London on average.
Mercer said currency fluctuations and foreign exchange costs were weighing heavily on expat costs, with the strengthening dollars hitting European workers hard.
“Hand-in-hand with this must come frequent reviews of expat pay packages,” Mercer’s Ellyn Karetnick said. “Local circumstances can change so fast that companies must be able to adjust their expat pay levels – to hold on to talent and manage their costs.”
New York was four places below London, in 16th spot.

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