Shanghai retains its attractiveness as a financial center

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai maintained its position as a top financial hub behind New York and London in the latest Global Financial Centers Index report released on Wednesday.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai maintained its position as a top financial hub behind New York and London in the latest Global Financial Centers Index report released on Wednesday.

Shanghai remained third in the ranking, unchanged from six months ago, according to the 29th edition of the Index, which is published by the China Development Institute in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners, a London-based market research company.

The rating for the city retreated 6 points from the previous edition, but was only one point lower than London.

New York retained its first place, extending its lead over London from 4 to 21 points, although the ratings for both centers dropped, by 6 points and 23 points, respectively.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing all improved their standings, moving up one place each, to take the next three spots. Tokyo, however, dropped three places to rank seventh.

Shenzhen and Zurich, meanwhile, stayed among the top 10, coming in eighth and tenth, respectively, while Frankfurt surged seven places to rank ninth, replacing San Francisco in the top 10, “perhaps benefiting from the exit of the UK from the European Union,” according to the report.

The index shows a relatively high level of stability in the top half of the index, with few centers changing 10 or more places in the rankings.

In the lower half of the index, there was more volatility, perhaps reflecting some uncertainty about the resilience of emerging and smaller centers, according to the report.

New York topped in almost every category except insurance, where Shanghai took the lead. Zurich and Geneva showed particular strength in the government and regulatory sub-index.

Alongside the main GFCI index, the report analyzed 105 financial centers in terms of their fintech offering. Shanghai came second in the fintech ranking after New York. Beijing, Shenzhen and London followed Shanghai.

The report highlighted Shanghai’s efforts to appeal to talents.

“The availability of skilled people and flexibility of the labor markets is a major consideration when global asset management companies choose their branch location. Shanghai is working hard to attract talented professionals by providing a preferential taxation policy and a settled city policy,” it said.

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