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Moving currency

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Pioneer
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Moving currency

Postby Pioneer » Sat, 17 Dec 2005 9:21 pm

Hi folks,

I am going to need to bring / send about S$17K to start me off with my move and I am just curious if people have taken that sort of money with them in cash or had a company handle the transction.

As I do not yet have a bank account in Singapore I am concerned that upon arrival I will not have access to any money for a while when I will need it to put down on a condo at the earliest opportunity.
In addition carrying that sort of money around in cash does not exactly fill me with confidence, so any experiences would be appreciated.

cheers

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riversandlakes
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Postby riversandlakes » Sun, 18 Dec 2005 12:54 am

Have you read the Guide for Expats here on this site itself? I think there's a column there for you...
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Postby Pioneer » Sun, 18 Dec 2005 2:51 am

Yeah, had a look in there but didn't find anything that answered my question really.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 19 Dec 2005 10:33 am

I don't see where you will have a problem. If you are EP or other work permit, your permit and passport will permit you to open a bank account at most any bank. If you are not EP but rather on a social visit pass, I know UOB will open an account with a letter of introduction from an account holder.

Once you have the account it is a simple matter to wire transfer funds from whatever bank they are in. This is how I introduced fiunds into my startup... a lot more than $17K I might add. There are no currency movement restrictions in Singapore to my knowledge.

Most banks now offer online wire transfer services. Perhaps your bank with the cash in it does this?

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Postby Pioneer » Mon, 19 Dec 2005 4:43 pm

Thanks for the help, yes my local UK bank does do international transfers, but that means that they will both charge me for the privelege (not the cheapest being a high street bank) and I am forced to take their exchange rate. So while it might be easy, it might not be cheap.

Also as I am going to be living in a hotel until I find a suitable condo, will the local bank let me open an account without a fixed address?
I suspect that I will need to bring a relatively large amount of cash with me so that I can put down the security on the condo, the reason being if I cannot open an account (as no address) then presumably I have no choice but to bring cash?

Thanks for the input.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 19 Dec 2005 6:09 pm

Pioneer wrote:Thanks for the help, yes my local UK bank does do international transfers, but that means that they will both charge me for the privelege (not the cheapest being a high street bank) and I am forced to take their exchange rate. So while it might be easy, it might not be cheap.

Also as I am going to be living in a hotel until I find a suitable condo, will the local bank let me open an account without a fixed address?
I suspect that I will need to bring a relatively large amount of cash with me so that I can put down the security on the condo, the reason being if I cannot open an account (as no address) then presumably I have no choice but to bring cash?

Thanks for the input.


I presume that you have an EP since you are going to buy a condo? If so, the Approval in Principle letter and/or your FIN (green) card will have an address on it. Use that address... it might be the company that is hiring you but that will be no problem... just don't take no for an answer... really, all they want is proof to live and work in the country. You will need about SGD 1000 to open the account so you might want to bring that much.

As for transfer fees, yes, it's about SGD 30 on this end... and for me in the US, about US 30 on the other end. Hard to get a better exchange rate unless you go to www.xe.com but that will be a hassle for a one time transfer. Your cash currency exchange rate will be worse, BTW.

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Postby shapil » Mon, 19 Dec 2005 10:16 pm

Hi,
I am also in a similar situation although, I do have a bank account with citibank in singapore. In the forums view, which one is better from the cost savings point of view : the wire transfer or Demand Draft. Do banks in singapore charge for handling DDs drawn on foreign banks?

Finally, is it better to bring in the money in USD instead of SGD? Actually the place I am currently in has its currency tied to USD and offers a better exchange rate to USD vis-a-vis SGD.

Cheers,

P.S : Pioneer, why dont you make travellers cheques for the amount that you think you might need to settle down. I know that TC's are easily convertible in singapore.
Kind Regards,
Kapil Sharma.

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Postby Pioneer » Tue, 20 Dec 2005 2:01 am

Shapil,

Thanks for the TC suggestions, hadn't considered that possibility, just need to investigate what the fees are for cashing them.

Cheers


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