According to Mercer's Cost of Living Index, Hong Kong is the least affordable city on the planet for foreign employees. Mercer ranked more than 200 cities from across the globe based on the prices of more than 200 items from categories such as housing, transportation, food and entertainment. Hong Kong regained pole position in the unflattering ranking after being bumped to second place by Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat last year.
Ashgabat was a rare exception in a top-10 usually dominated by some of the world's most renowned business and financial hubs. Hong Kong is also joined by four cities from Switzerland, a country notorious for its high incomes and even higher prices. Tel Aviv, New York City, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing complete the top-10 in this year's ranking, which is published to help multinational companies devise fair compensation plans for their expatriate employees.