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Bahrain among tops for expat lifestyle

Manama , September 2, 2010

Bahrain has been ranked third among 100 countries for providing expatriates with higher salaries and greater disposable income and luxuries, according to an annual report.

It lags behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia in HSBC Bank International's Expat Explorer Survey 2010 - Report one: Expat Economics.

The third report shows expats in those countries have higher salaries, enjoy the greatest overall wealth, more disposable income and more luxury items like swimming pools, properties and yachts.

In the four sub-categories of the league table, Bahrain was ranked seventh in wealth hotspots, 13th in income, second in disposable income and first in luxuries.

The report showed that 100 per cent of expats in Bahrain agreed they had more disposable income since relocating.

Qatar, which came seventh in the league table, boasts the highest number of expats being able to save more than in their country of origin (92 per cent) followed by Saudi Arabia (89 per cent), Bahrain (88 per cent) and Russia (76 per cent).

The survey showed that of those expats who revealed that the economic situation in their country had either deteriorated or remained the same, the vast majority (87 per cent) did not believe that they would be re-locating.

This trend was generally higher in Middle East and Asian countries such as Qatar (94 per cent), Bahrain (97 per cent) and China (92 per cent) than European countries such as Germany (84 per cent), UK (78 per cent) and Spain (83 per cent).

Report

According to the report, the divide suggests that expats in the Middle East and Asia are more likely to remain in their country of residence despite the fact their economic situation has deteriorated.

One explanation for this could be that countries such as Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE tend to be Wealth Hotspots for expats and are in the top quartile when it comes to income and disposable income, it explains.

Expat Economics is the first of three reports based on the results. It looks at the financial quality of life of expats.

Those in Russia topped the list for the second consecutive year with more than a third, or 36 per cent, reporting earnings of over $250,000 (BD94,500) a year - compared to two-thirds, or 62 per cent, of expats in Spain earning below $60,000 (BD22,680).

HSBC spokeswoman Lisa Wood said the survey, conducted by research company GfK, showed the wealth gap was widening between the east and west, with expats in emerging economies leaving their counterparts in the Eurozone behind.

'The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies have fared well over the last year and as a result we've seen that these expat locations are particularly strong when it comes to expat finances,' she said in a statement.

'Eurozone countries were the worst-performing when looking at purely financial criteria and subsequently all featured in the bottom quartile of our league table.'

Wood added it was not surprising that ongoing volatility in the Eurozone region was a major contributor to this and driving expats to seek jobs in countries with higher salaries.

The Expat Economic survey, part of HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey of 4,100 expats from 100 countries, ranked 25 countries on scores linked to annual income, monthly disposable income and a measure of defined luxuries.

When it came to salaries, the survey found about 13 per cent of expats globally earned $250,000 a year or more.

Russia topped the table followed by Singapore and Bermuda with 32 per cent and 27 per cent of expats earning the amount. Mainland Europe took the lowest positions on the table.

While only one quarter, or 26 per cent, of global expats on average earn less than $60,000, the survey found 62 per cent of expats living in Spain earn below that amount, 47 per cent of expats in France and the Netherlands, and 45 per cent in Germany.

But Wood said this could largely be explained by the high number of expats who choose to retire in mainland Europe.

One in five expats says he is able to pay off debt while working abroad, but workers in Britain and Australia were most likely to be accumulating more debt, at 11 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: | Bahrain | Expatriates | Lifestyle | luxury | HSBC Report |

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