NEW YORK: Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong to become Asia’s top financial centre — and the third in the world — according to a new report that puts New York and London in the first and second spots.
Hong Kong slipped to fourth place, battered by strict coronavirus restrictions and an exodus of talent, while San Francisco moved up two spots to round out the Global Financial Centres Index’s top five.
Hong Kong is struggling to revive its role as a global finance hub as it continues to follow China’s lead in trying to keep Covid cases to a minimum, while the rest of the world opens up. A November summit of global bankers, designed to restore confidence in the city, has secured pledges from some 20 leading firms to send top executives. But uncertainty surrounding the easing of quarantine rules, which has kept visitor numbers low, still threatens to affect turnout.
Singapore, on the other hand, is expecting to see more than 4 million visitors in 2022. A slate of high-profile events including the Milken Institute Asia Summit, the Forbes Global CEO Conference and the Singapore Grand Prix will help to raise the city’s profile as a travel destination.
The Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen all maintained spots in the GFCI’s top 10, in spite of crippling Covid-19 mitigation measures that have effectively cut the country off from the rest of the world.
Cathay Pacific aircraft takes off at the airport, during the Covid-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, China, on March 31, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)
Other findings in the report were:
Of the 119 financial centres rated, Bangkok was placed 79th globally, 21st in the Asia-Pacific region
Paris made a return to the top 10, while Tokyo tumbled to 16th place
Sydney leapt 10 spots up the ranks to number 13
Dubai and Abu Dhabi reigned supreme in the Middle East, sitting in 17th and 32nd place respectively
Russian financial centre suffered as a result of the war in Ukraine, with Moscow down 22 places to 73, and St Petersburg falling 17 places to 114
Barbados, Xi’an and Wuhan were the bottom three locations on the list.
The index, compiled by think tanks Z/Yen Partners and the China Development Institute, ranks 119 financial centres and uses data collected from thousands of financial services professionals responding to an online questionnaire.
Here are the top 20 ranked financial centres:
- New York, US
- London, UK
- Hong Kong
- San Francisco, US
- Shanghai, China
- Los Angeles, US
- Beijing, China
- Shenzhen, China
- Paris, France
- Seoul, South Korea
- Chicago, US
- Sydney, Australia
- Boston, US
- Washington DC, US
- Tokyo, Japan
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Geneva, Switzerland