HONG Kong's stock market was the top performer last year among the world's developed markets, new figures show. The Hang Seng Index's meteoric rise of 109.9 per cent made it one of the few developed markets' indices to shine in a year dominated by emerging markets, the International Finance Corp said yesterday. Hong Kong left the performances of stock exchanges in the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialised countries in the shade, but was by no means the top performer in Asia. Hong Kong was the fifth best performer, behind four minnows the IFC classified as emerging. Poland came first with an astonishing 717 per cent rise, followed by Turkey with 210.6 per cent, the Philippines 152 per cent and Indonesia 112.4 per cent. Following Hong Kong was Thailand with 107.3 per cent, Malaysia 107.2 per cent and Zimbabwe 102.1 per cent. Next was Luxembourg - the only European market anywhere near the top performers - which showed a 98.4 per cent rise. The next Asian market was Taiwan - which the IFC classes as ''borderline'' between a developed and emerging market - on 83 per cent. China, whose performance was based only on B and H shares, came in 15th with a 49.3 per cent increase. The biggest disappointments in Asia were Japan and South Korea. Tokyo's Nikkei average was the third worst with a 15 per cent rise, while Seoul's Composite Index posted a 20.4 per cent jump. The G7 giants were outshone by their smaller rivals. The award for worst performance went to the United States - although the IFC based it on the 7.6 per cent rise in the Standard and Poor's Index, not the Dow Jones industrial average. Canada was fourth worst on 15.1 per cent, Britain's FTSE-100 was sixth worst on 17.3 per cent, and France seventh on 19 per cent. Regionally, Europe and the Middle East grew the fastest, followed by Asia and Latin America. However, the IFC, which is a subsidiary of the World Bank, warned that the fast-moving emerging markets needed to brush up on their practices to stay healthy. ''The performance of emerging stock markets has been impressive, but international investor confidence will continue to grow only with further improvements in regulatory regimes, transparent market practices, adoption of international audit and accounting standards, and efficient clearing and settlement arrangements,'' said Daniel Adams, IFC vice-president for capital markets.