This photo, taken with a mobile phone, shows a view of illuminated buildings by the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, June 20, 2020. (LI GANG / XINHUA)
Hong Kong dropped one place to fourth in the global financial centers ranking, as COVID-19 restrictions on international travel weighed on business and financial activities, according to a report published on Thursday.
Despite the fall in the latest ranking, the city increased its score from the previous ranking by 10 points to 725 points, just one point lower than Singapore, which ranked third in the Global Financial Centers Index, compiled jointly by Shenzhen-based think tank China Development Institute and London-based think tank Z/Yen Group.
The GFCI, which is published twice a year, bases its results on the study of five areas — business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation
New York and London remained top and in second place, respectively.
"Hong Kong, as a leading global financial center, saw an increase in the overall rating and our ranking in the area of financial sector development leapt by four places as compared with the previous issue,” a spokesman for the Hong Kong Speccial Administrative Region government said in a statement.
He noted that the report pointed out that, compared to the assessment by financial industry practitioners from other major financial centers on the prospects of the cities in which they were based, practitioners based in Hong Kong were "the most confident" about the future competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial center.
“We will continue to listen to views and be bold in taking forward reforms to consolidate and strengthen Hong Kong's capital market and our role as an international financial center," he added.
Confidence in the financial market is recovering at a faster pace, as many of the global financial centers have generally seen an increase, said Mike Wardle, CEO of Z/Yen Group.
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According to the index, the average scores of the world’s 128 financial centers covered in the research rose by 4.83 percent compared to the previous ranking and have bounced back to the level recorded in March 2020.
Over 100 financial centers saw their scores increase. Only one in the top 40 list decreased.
This shows the expected impact from global challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, economic downturn, energy crisis and inflationary pressure on the financial market is waning and confidence in financial centers’ future development is growing, he said.
The GFCI, which is published twice a year, bases its results on the study of five areas — business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation.
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Three Chinese mainland cities ranked among the world’s 10 most competitive places in finance, with Shanghai dropping two spots to sixth, Beijing remaining eighth, and Shenzhen advancing one place to ninth.
Other cities in the top 10 list include San Francisco, Los Angeles and Paris, taking up fifth, seventh and tenth, respectively.