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New York is cheaper than Beijing and London’sa better bargain than Shanghai, but at least Hong Kong is cheaper than Luanda, Angola.

A report on the cost of living in major cities around the world shows that Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul all rank among the top 15 most expensive locations for foreign executives to live.

Hong Kong ranked as Asia’s most expensive city, finishing third globally, followed by Singapore in fourth place. Tokyo, which had ranked third last year, dropped to seventh in the world. Luanda, Angola topped the list, followed by N’Djamena, Chad.

On the Chinese mainland, Shanghai was the most expensive, standing 10th worldwide, followed by Beijing in the 11th spot, Shenzhen in 17th and Guangzhou finishing 24th. New York ranked 16th on the list, and London 12th.

The authors of the annual survey by Mercerindicated that China’s surging reminbi is making its cities more expensive destinations for placing expatriate staff, at the same time that the strengthening US dollar is making Australia and Japan appear more affordable

“Japanese cities have dropped in the ranking this year as a result of the yen’s weakening against the US dollar,” said Ms. Constantin-Métral. “However, Chinese cities jumped in the ranking, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, due to the strengthening of the Chinese yuan.”

The strengthening of the Chinese yuan and currencies in Western Europe against the US dollar has also seen countries in these regions become more expensive, and drive Australian and New Zealand cities down the list.

The survey compares the cost of housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment around the world and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

The cost of living in China’s major cities is now higher than in Hong Kong or Singapore, according to a survey of expatriate cost of living published this week by a global human resources consultancy.

A competing survey of expatriate living costs published last month by ECA International ranked Shanghai second, and Beijing third among Asia Pacific’s priciest places for foreigners to live, and a similar list created in March this year by the Economist Intelligence Unit cited Singapore as the most expensive city to live in the world.