Business, Finance & Economics

Hong Kong beats US and UK as top financial center


Two people stand across the Kowloon peninsula in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was named this years top financial market developer by the World Economic Forum, beating out New York and London.


Mike Clarke

The World Economic Forum announced on Tuesday that Hong Kong is this year's best city for world financial market development.

According to Al Jazeera, this is a first time any Asian city topped the WEF's Financial Development Report.

It is also the first time that neither New York, in the US, or London, in the UK, took first place.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the WEF defines financial development as: “the factors, policies and institutions that lead to effective financial intermediation and markets, as well as deep and broad access to capital and financial services.”

The index also analyzes long-term measures to support financial system development, and "is aimed at helping economies identify areas for reform," reported Al Jazeera.

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Last year, Hong Kong was in fourth place, but earned strong points for its "non-banking financial services such as initial public offerings and insurance."

The US and UK, on the other hand, are still recovering from the global financial crisis.

The two countries' struggles hinder other companies from accessing capital, which influences economic growth.

In a statement, Kevin Steinberg, chief operating officer of WEF, said this report should serve as a sign of things to come:

"While Western financial centers are understandably focused on short-term challenges, this report should serve as a wake-up call that their long-term leadership may be in jeopardy."

Slipping down from third to fourth place was Singapore. Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland and Norway finished off the top 10.

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