If you are going to be working in finance in Asia, then Hong Kong is still the place to be. It is according to a report by the New Financial think tank, which ranks Hong Kong as by far the largest financial center in the region and among the most dynamic in the world.
Hong Kong is ranked fifth globally for the size and volume of financial activity, and it has experienced 38% growth in financial activity since 2016, when the ranking was established for the first time. During this period, it jumped three places, overtaking France, Germany and Luxembourg. According to New Financial, Hong Kong is also ranked second globally for equity trading, beating China and the United Kingdom, and losing only to the United States, which is by far the largest financial center.
Hong Kong also posted 55% growth in international financial activity during the study period, underscoring its status as the global hub of Asia. It rose in all but three global metrics that New Financial used in its analysts – more than any other financial center. Private equity fundraising, assets under management, foreign company listings and foreign equity trading are all on the rise.
But Singapore has also made impressive progress. Overall financial activity increased by 47%, which took it from one place to 10e in the general classification. Along with Luxembourg, Singapore is the most international financial center, with 66% of its non-domestic activity according to New Financial.
Overall, China was ranked third globally in the ranking of financial centers, and New Financial says its high status is due to its huge domestic financial sector, which makes up for its relatively weak performance as an international financial center.
When broader factors such as the business, legal, political and economic environment, human capital and the ecosystem around the financial sector are taken into account, Singapore propels Hong Kong to number one in Asia, climbing to fifth place overall, Hong Kong to sixth place in the world. Measured on this larger metric, China drops to 53rd in the rankings.
According to New Financial, since 2016 Asia has grown faster than other regions – Financial activity in Singapore grew by 47%, with Hong Kong (38%) and China (27%) not far behind. “Markets in the Asia-Pacific region represent four of the top 10 financial centers and eight of the top 20 in the world, and have experienced the fastest growth since 2016, ”the report said.
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