Singapore Drops Incentives to Lure Rich Foreigners

Natives became angry after property values spike
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Singapore Drops Incentives to Lure Rich Foreigners
The heart of Singapore's new downtown at Marina Bay.   (Getty Images)

Sorry, rich folks. Singapore apparently has enough millionaires for now and is no longer holding the door open quite so widely to attract more from other countries. The nation is scrapping a program that allowed wealthy foreigners to get fast-track permanent residency provided they kept enough money in Singaporean banks for five years, reports BusinessWeek.

It might have worked too well: Foreigners and permanent residents now make up more than a third of Singapore's population of 5.2 million, and the Wall Street Journal notes that the nation has the highest "millionaire density" in the world at 15.5% of households. The influx of money caused a spike in real estate prices, raising the ire of the native populace and damaging the reputation of the ruling party in the last elections. Foreigners can still attain permanent residency, but they've got to jump through more hoops, including investing money in a new local company. (More Singapore stories.)

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