From the Sydney Morning Herald, Singapore is fast becoming a tax haven for rich Australians. The report states, "The attractions are large. Capital gains are not taxed. Individuals are only taxed on income earned directly in Singapore, and for the super wealthy, there are no inheritance taxes.
"Mining magnate Gina Rinehart - the largest shareholder in Fairfax Media - is the latest to buy up big in the city state. The billionaire has reportedly spent $S57 million ($A43.8 million) on two units, off the plan, in the Seven Palms Sentosa Cove condominium project.
"A company linked to Mrs. Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting purchased a unit on the third floor of the four-story complex for $S23.3 million as well as a top-floor unit for close to $S33.9 million, according to Singapore's Business Times newspaper.
"The director of Savills international residential sales in Singapore, Julian Sedgwick, said Mrs. Rinehart's purchase would set a new residential price record for the cosmopolitan hub.
"Seven Palms Sentosa Cove has been designed by Australian firm Kerry Hill Architects, which was responsible for some of the Aman resort developments. Touted as Singapore's only beachfront condominium, the 41-unit development, due to be completed next year, is located between the Sentosa Golf Club and the South China Sea.
"But Mrs. Rinehart is not the first Australian mining magnate to head to Singapore. Billionaire Nathan Tinkler of Whitehaven Coal recently put his plans for a $13 million beachfront pad in Newcastle on hold and moved his family to Singapore.
"Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded Facebook at age 21, also lives in Singapore. His Facebook stake was worth more than $US3 billion when the company went public in May. That may have since been reduced, but he is still phenomenally wealthy. Born in Brazil, Saverin, 30, has renounced the US citizenship he gained as a teenager to become a permanent resident of Singapore. This led to claims in the US he was avoiding tax.
What has attracted attention is his billionaire playboy lifestyle in Singapore. ''It's a misperception, especially the playboy,'' he said. ''I do have a Bentley. I do go out. I'd rather not go into personal details.''
Personal tax rates in Singapore are among the lowest in the world, with a cap of 20 per cent, compared to the top tax rate of 46.5 per cent in Australia.
Mr. Sedgwick said ''Singapore is turning itself into a mini-Switzerland.''
''It's got the banking secrecy laws, it's becoming a financial centre, new casinos and now a lot of the big banks are operating out of Singapore purely because it's becoming a very exclusive place to live."
By Doug Gollan
Courtesy Elite Traveler