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March 15, 2019

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Shanghai retains its place as top 5 world financial centers

SHANGHAI has been ranked as one of the top five financial centers in the world again after it overtook Tokyo to move into fifth place of global financial centers in September.

Shanghai remained ahead of Tokyo in fifth place, according to the latest edition of the Global Financial Centers Index, which was co-published by the China Development Institute in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners, a London-based market research company.

Not for the first time, New York took first place in the index, 7 points ahead of London.

Hong Kong was only 4 points behind London in third, and Singapore remained in fourth place.

Toronto rose 27 points and gained four places to seventh. Zurich, Beijing and Frankfurt remained in the top 10, the findings showed.

Among the top five centers, gaps are now being narrowed between the catchers and the leaders.

For example, Shanghai was 193 points behind the leader when the index was produced for the first time in 2007, but now it is just 17 points behind.

A total of nine Chinese cities were on the list this time, as a number of second-tier cities such as Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Dalian in Liaoning Province are rising in importance.

The financial center list has grown from 100 to 102 this year and the latest result showed a continued shift to the Asia-Pacific, as the top eight places in the region are now in the top 15 in the whole index.

Shanghai’s continuously strong position in this index reflects the stability of the city’s financial policies and its continued growth. Committed to becoming an international financial center by 2020, the city has always stayed at the forefront of the reform and opening-up of China’s financial services and vows to keep playing a pioneering role in this regard in the future.

Local government officials said Shanghai has made great headway in serving the country’s financial reforms, and the city has further consolidated its position as a financial center with a relatively complete financial market system.

For instance, nine of the world’s 10 biggest asset managers opened offices in the city’s Lujiazui financial area, and 51 internationally renowned asset management companies set up 69 wholly foreign-owned firms in Shanghai in 2018.

Next, the city will strive to enhance the degree of its financial internalization and its global influence, attract more overseas investors to participate in its financial market, further optimize its business climate for the financial sector, and improve its capabilities for financial supervision and risk prevention.

The GFCI index was compiled using 133 instrumental factors in five broad areas of competitiveness: business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation. The research has been published by Z/Yen since March 2007, and it is now updated twice every year in March and September.


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