Opportunity hunters with money should think twice before getting married in New York, hiring lawyers in Hong Kong or buying good wines in Rio de Janeiro.
That according to the analysis of Julius Baer Group Ltd., which broke down the most expensive cities in the world for a range of luxury goods and services, from homes to personal trainers or whiskey. High local tax rates make Rio de Janeiro, the second-largest city in Brazil, the most expensive metropolis in the world in five of the 18 categories of the Swiss Bank’s 2020 Wealth and Lifestyle Report.
New York was ranked as the most expensive place to hold a wedding banquet of 400 people or hire a personal trainer, while London ranked first for laser eye surgery for myopia.
However, Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world in general, and the former British colony is often cited among the 10 most expensive municipalities for categories such as elegant restaurants and luxury cars.
The report, published on Thursday, underscores the growing scope of opulence among the world’s rich as tensions increase in some nations over the division between the rich and the rest. The growing inequality in Hong Kong, fueled by low taxes, has helped incite the worst riots in the city since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
The idea of luxury “in the past applied to items such as bags or sports cars,” said Nicolas de Skowronski, head of wealth management solutions at Julius Baer, in the report. “Now it has been transformed into a broad category that includes services and experiences, from restaurants to new lifestyle trends such as wellness.”
Hong Kong could fall into future rankings after months of protests affected the economy, but other Asian cities are well represented in the firm’s ranking of the most expensive cities, including Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei and Bangkok, all in the upper half.
It also includes Los Angeles and Miami, the only other US cities. UU. They are listed in the report, although neither is classified as superior in the individual categories of how the rich spend their money.
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