Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world's top centre for managing international funds, a study said on Thursday, as a global tax crackdown and tighter regulation weaken the Alpine nation's appeal to investors
Switzerland, still the world's biggest offshore financial centre with $2 trillion in assets, came ahead of rivals Singapore, London, Hong Kong and New York in the 2013 ranking, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of its Global Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey
But respondents to the survey, which questioned 200 finance industry professionals from 51 countries, also said they expected Switzerland to lose ground, with Singapore taking the top spot in the next two years
7 of the world's most infamous tax havens
And why they're so enticing to wealthy folks who don't want to give their money to the government
Why waste time and money with international tax havens when good old Delaware has essentially no requirements for creating a corporation.
GDP: $326.7 billion
Tax incentives: Tax rates that max out at 20 percent and no capital gains taxes, according to Reuters
Foreign cash: Reuters reported that estimates put "the amount of German money moving to Singapore in the double-digit billions," forcing the German government to step in and negotiate more transparent banking standards.
Famous "resident": Eduardo Saverin, who caused a public outcry when he renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to Singapore right before the company he co-founded, Facebook, went public. At the time, Saverin's shares were expected to be worth around $3.84 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Singapore among several well-known tax havens circling Cyprus' wounded banking sectorThe New York Times, 31 Mar 2013
With a flood of emails and phone calls in recent days to lawyers and accountants here who make a living from helping wealthy Russians and others avoid taxes, competitors in alternative financial centers across Europe and beyond are promoting their own skills at keeping money hidden and safe.
"We are aware of the economic problems facing Cyprus at the moment," read one such message, from a law firm in Malta, a fellow member of the eurozone.
"We would like to propose an avenue of action for your consideration: offering corporate relocation to Malta," continued the business pitch, trumpeting Malta's low taxes and "flexible yet robust regime" for financial services.
Similar unsolicited offers have originated in well-known havens like Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, as well as in a host of other locations, including Dubai and Singapore.