World Economic Forum

Hong Kong ranked world's top financial centre for second year

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 1:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Hong Kong has topped the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Financial Development Index for the second consecutive year.

The index ranks the breadth, depth and efficiency of the world’s leading financial centres by analysing drivers of financial system development that support economic growth. The rankings were released late on Wednesday.

Hong Kong SAR ranked first among 62 countries, with an overall score of 5.31 on a scale of 1 to 7. The score is measured on a vast amount of data intended to set standards for the world to follow.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah on Thursday welcomed the WEF’s latest index.

“Hong Kong is highly competitive vis-à-vis most other financial systems in the world, especially in terms of contract enforcement, taxes and the infrastructure of the business environment, as well as the efficiency of banking financial services,” he said. “Our strengths in IPO activity, equity market development and commercial access are also well recognised by the WEF.”

Last year, Hong Kong leapfrogged the United States and Britain to become the first Asian financial centre to top the index that began in 2008. The city was fourth in the 2010 rankings.

Out of seven component pillars by which countries are assessed, Hong Kong is ranked among the top five in four areas: banking financial services (first), business environment (second), financial access (fourth) and financial markets (fourth). It is among the top ten in the three remaining areas, namely, institutional environment, financial stability and non-banking financial services.

The United States came second overall this year, Britain was third, while Singapore and Australia claimed the fourth and fifth places, respectively. The mainland dropped to 23rd place from 19th last year.

Tsang said the government would continue to strengthen Hong Kong as a leading financial centre and as the mainland’s offshore yuan centre.