Hong Kong in top rankings for global financial hubs

Tracy Li
In terms of financial technology offerings, New York and Shanghai retain first and second positions.
Tracy Li

Hong Kong has ranked among the top 3 global financial hubs, following New York and London, while the majority of Chinese mainland cities saw their rankings fall on the semi-annual list.

New York leads the ranking, with London second. Hong Kong and Singapore rank third and fourth, with San Francisco in fifth place, overtaking Shanghai which is sixth, according to the 30th edition of the Global Financial Centers Index report released on Friday.

The study, generally published twice each year in March and September, is made by the China Development Institute in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners, a London-based market research company.

Beijing dropped two places from position sixth to eighth, while Shenzhen and Guangzhou also lost their ground compared with the last edition of the research.

Qingdao, however, moved up to 38th position from 42th in the rankings.

While Hong Kong and Singapore ranked well, Asia-Pacific centers generally fell in the ratings in GFCI 30. Assessments from people based in the region suggest that they judge Chinese centres in particular "less favorably" than before, the report said.

"This might suggest that the economic gains in the region arising from COVID-19 may be levelling off," it noted.

Alongside the main GFCI index, the report also analyzed financial centers in terms of their financial technology offerings.

Thanks to their focus on technology development, Chinese and US centers continue to feature strongly, with New York and Shanghai retaining first and second positions.

Aiming to grow into a global financial hub on par with London and New York, Shanghai is taking major steps to seal its status.

Last month, it unveiled an outline of plan for building the city into an international financial hub during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

Among the key tasks and measures during the five-year period, Shanghai will focus on the development of major sectors including asset management, cross-border investment and financing, financial technology and green finance, optimize the financial service system and enhance the city's ability to serve sci-tech innovation as well as the real economy.

China has strengthened its supervision of the financial sector in recent years and also sped up its financial reform and opening-up, which will be conducive to the industry's healthy development in the long term, said Sun Yang, director of the financial technology research center at Suning Institute of Finance.

Also, domestic financial resources have been rebalancing to cities such as Nanjing, Hangzhou and Chengdu due to their robust economy, he added.

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