GFCI 19: Singapore knocks HK out of 3rd place

Singapore has moved up to take Hong Kong’s place as the third most important world financial centre, behind London and New York, in the latest edition of the Global Financial Centres Index.

The biannual survey, which this time queried some 2,520 respondents, showed that London remained just ahead of New York to retain the No. 1 spot.

However, the survey’s authors noted, because the GFCI rates jurisdictions on a 1,000 point scale, a lead of eight points, like London’s over New York, is “fairly insigificant”.

“We continue to believe that the two centres are complimentary rather than purely competitive,” Z/Yen, which conducts the survey, said in a statement accompanying its findings.

New York has pipped London to take the top spot previously, having done so for the first time in 2014. The GIFC ranking of global financial centres was launched in 2007.

2-point lead

Singapore’s lead over Hong Kong is even narrower than London’s over New York: just 2 points, the Z/Yen data shows. Tokyo, though, in fifth place, is 72 points behind London.

Mark Yeandle, associate director of the Z/Yen Group and the author of the GFCI report, said that although London and New York still “lead the field”, the next three centres behind them “are all Asian”.

Five of the top ten centres are now North American, he noted, “perhaps reflecting the surge in [the importance to those surveyed of] fintech and blockchains”.

Other key findings in this year’s GIFC report:

*  Western European centres “remain mired in uncertainty”, though Rome, Madrid and Brussels — three centres closely associated with the Eurozone crisis, “have shown signs of recovery”

* Seven of the top ten Asia/Pacific centres saw a fall in their ratings from six months ago, when the last GIFC survey was taken; Seoul and Sydney “showed the largest falls”

*  Latin America and the Caribbean suffered, as “all [the] centres in this region, with the single exception of Mexico City, [fell] sharply…the offshore centres in the Caribbean, in common with the British Crown Dependencies listed under Western Europe, all suffered declines, along with the Brazilian centres Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro

*  Riga, Latvia, and the Chinese coastal city of Qingdao joined the GIFC ranking for the first time, with Riga in 71st place and Qingdao in 79th

To see and download the latest GIFC report, click here. 

Global International Financial Centres Index 19

CentreGFCI 19GFCI 18Change in rank
New York11
Singapore34   +1
Hong Kong43    -1
Zurich67   +1
Washington, DC710   +3
San Francisco89   +1
Boston912   +3
Toronto1018   -2

Source:Z/Yen Group


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