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Travel

Hong Kong is the most expensive city

In the rankings of the most expensive places to live Hong Kong has taken the top spot. Listed in last place at position 209 is the Namibian capital Windhoek.

In the ranking compiled by the Mercer consulting group Hong Kong, the metropolis in the Far East has replaced Angola's capital Luanda from the top spot, which it had held for the last three years.

That foreign visitors in Hong Kong have to dig deep in their pockets has a lot to do with exchange rate fluctuations. The currency of the Chinese special market, the Hong Kong dollar, is pegged to the US-dollar which has recently gained in value. That in turn makes the city expensive particularly for visitors from Germany or any other the euro zone country.

The pricing levels in most of the cities surveyed have remained stable, according to Mercer in Paris. Some cities have even become considerably cheaper due to exchange rate fluctuations. The value loss of the Russian ruble for instance caused Moscow to drop from 17th to 67th place in the ranking.

As the yen is currently strong Tokyo has climbed from eleventh to fifth place, and is now just below Singapore on fourth place and Zurich on third. The former top spot holder Luanda has slipped on to second place. The strong US-dollar has ensured that several cities in the United States have climbed up this ranking.

Mercer's annual survey looks at the cost of living in over 200 cities around the world. It takes into consideration the cost of goods and services typically used by expats, including accommodation, food, travel and leisure activities.

is/ks/sbc (AFP)

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