SZ ranks fifth in world finance
2009-September-24 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Shenzhen's competitiveness as a financial center ranks fifth worldwide, making it the highest ranked city among new entrants, according to the latest Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) published Tuesday (Sep 22).

The index, launched in March 2007 by the U.K.-based Z/Yen Group for the City of London, is updated every six months.

London remains the world's most competitive financial center, followed by New York, according to the report. Rounding out the top 10 are Hong Kong, Singapore, Shenzhen, Zurich, Tokyo, Chicago, Geneva and Shanghai.

Significant improvement was also seen among other Asian cities, which made a surprise surge to take five of the top 10 spots in the ranking, the report shows.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corp. said the speed and size of the surge of Asian centers is "a surprise" that deserves further research.

The report notes that Asian cities have shown marked improvement since the previous ratings, reflecting the fact that Asian centers have been less badly affected by the recent crisis than many of the leading European and North American centers.

Tokyo, which fell to 15th in the previous ratings, has risen back into the top 10, and Shanghai has moved up 25 notches to enter the top 10.

Beijing's ranking is up 29 places to 22nd, Taipei is up 17 places to 24 and Seoul up 18 positions to rank 35th, according to the report.

"An in-depth study of Chinese centers, in particular, is needed to see what factors are driving this perceived trend," the spokesperson said.

The September 2009 edition -- the sixth in a series -- provides ratings for 75 financial centers around the world, with 13 new entrants.

The ratings are calculated based on assessments of the financial centers in a continuously running online questionnaire and on 57 instrumental factors grouped under four categories: people, business environment, infrastructure and general competitiveness.

A total of 36,497 assessments from 1,802 financial services professionals are used to compute the latest index.

The report reveals that 59 of the centers rated have received higher scores than six months ago, demonstrating a return of confidence after the global financial crisis.

The official said the latest GFCI report demonstrates cautious optimism that the global financial services industry is showing signs of recovery and further movement of the financial business center of gravity towards fast-developing markets -- especially in Asia.

Editor: Miranda
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