HK maintains No 3 rank among global financial centers


China daily

Hong Kong remained in third place in the global ranking of financial centers, following New York City and London, according to the latest Global Financial Centers Index.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong scored 715 points, only one point less than its previous ranking half a year earlier. List-topper New York lost three points to score 759, while London came in second, dropping 14 points to 726.

The GFCI was jointly published on Thursday by the China Development Institute, a Shenzhen-based think tank, and London-based think tank Z/Yen.

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The gap between Hong Kong and the two top Western financial centers is narrowing, said Yu Lingqu, vice-director of the Center for Financial Studies at the China Development Institute.

The semiannual ranking bases its results on the study of five areas — business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputation. The list ranked 126 financial centers worldwide.

Among the subindexes, Hong Kong ranked third in reputation globally. In the aspects of business environment, human capital, and infrastructure, the city grabbed fourth place. In financial sector development, Hong Kong ranked 11th.

Yu said financial centers on the Chinese mainland generally performed well in financial technology and reputation. “Financial industry professionals across the world are upbeat over the outlook of Chinese financial industry, believing that there is large potential for growth,” he said.

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But he added that mainland financial centers are stronger in “hard power” than in “soft power”.

“They needs to learn from Hong Kong’s experience to further enhance their financial ‘soft power’, including business environment, human capital and infrastructure,” Yu said.

The researcher also said that the findings of the latest ranking was based on the data collected as of the end of 2021 and did not reflect the recent changes in the world’s financial situation, including the Omicron outbreak, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike.

“Global financial centers are facing a number of uncertainties. We need to improve risk management, create a sound business environment and strengthen cooperation between financial centers to promote better growth of the world economy,” Yu said.

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Shanghai ranked fourth in the GFCI, advancing two places from the previous ranking. Beijing and Shenzhen also made into the top 10 list, ranking the eighth and 10th respectively.

Los Angeles was fifth, followed by Singapore and San Francisco. Tokyo took the ninth place.