Wednesday, July 25, 2012

S'pore ranks second in Asia Pacific for financial literacy

Singapore has been ranked second behind Taiwan and New Zealand in the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Financial Literacy.

Consumers were polled on three aspects of financial literacy including their basic money management skills, investment knowledge and financial planning.

Hong Kong and Australia share the spot with Singapore having both scored 71 index points each.

The index contains findings of a survey of more than 6,900 respondents in 14 countries from the Asia Pacific region.

Taiwan scored 77 points and jumped a total of five places from 2010 to share the top spot with New Zealand this year.

Japan and India both scored a low 60 index points each, and were at the bottom of the list.

While New Zealand scored the highest score of 77 per cent for basic management skills such as day-to-day budgeting and expenses, Singapore was ranked fifth.

Singapore also climbed two notches from eighth in 2010 to sixth position for the investment segment, which includes the understanding of their bank statements and complex investment concept.

The survey found that people from Taiwan and Vietnam also saved more regularly and were better prepared than their regional counterparts when it came to retirement and emergency savings.

Like other mature markets, Singaporeans over the age of 30 achieved higher scores for overall financial literacy than those who were below 30.

Although women outperformed men in terms of financial literacy in 10 out of the 14 markets, Singapore was not one of the 10.

Women in the Philippines scored nine per cent better than their male counterparts while women in Vietnam achieved a score six per cent better than the score achieved by the men there.

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