Singapore is attracting a surge of Russian investment as rich business people seek a politically stable home for their personal wealth as well as exposure to Asia's rapid recovery from the global financial crisis.
Officials and bankers say significant sums have been deposited in the island state's booming private banking sector, with Russian money also flowing into the stock market through investments in property and luxury services companies.
Michael Tay, a former Singapore ambassador to Moscow who now heads the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation secretariat, said in an interview with the Financial Times that some Russian shipping and IT companies were also considering listing in Singapore.
“They are exploring it, keeping the options open. Some of them are considering initial public offerings,” said Mr Tay, who since 2006 has run an annual forum in Singapore at which Russian business people can meet Singapore's political and business leaders.
This year's conference attracted several hundred Russians, including billionaire businessmen Araz Agalarov, a property developer, Roustam Tariko, head of Russian Standard Bank and owner of Russian Standard vodka, and Suleiman Kerimov, a parliamentary deputy whose wealth derives from holdings in Gazprom and Sberbank.
今年的会议吸引了数百位俄罗斯企业家，其中包括：亿万富翁、地产开发商阿拉兹•阿格拉罗夫(Araz Agalarov)，俄罗斯标准银行(Russian Standard Bank)总裁和俄罗斯标准伏特加(Russian Standard vodka)的所有者鲁斯塔姆•塔里科(Roustam Tariko)，以及议员苏莱曼•克里莫夫(Suleiman Kerimov)——其财富来自所持的俄罗斯天然气工业股份公司(Gazprom)和俄罗斯联邦储蓄银行(Sberbank)的股份。
The growing interest of Russian investors in Singapore has been accompanied by a rise in trade which has made the city-state Russia's 30th biggest trading partner, up from 40th in 2002. More than 5,000 Russians are resident in Singapore, compared with 300 six years ago.
“There are a lot of people with oil and gas money from Russia and Kazakhstan looking for opportunities to invest,” said a senior banker, who asked not to be named. “This is the personal wealth of Russian business people ... looking for lucrative investment opportunities. Some of that is coming to Singapore.”