Shanghai Surpasses Hong Kong in Rankings of Global Financial Centres


A new ranking of the world’s leading financial centres puts Shanghai ahead of Hong Kong, following political turmoil in the former British colony and efforts by Chinese authorities to advance Shanghai’s position as an international money hub.

The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 27 report put Shanghai in fourth place in its latest rankings, for a rise of one position compared to the last ranking released in September.

Hong Kong fell by three places to sixth position in the latest ranking, due to the impact of popular unrest on the city’s status as an international financial centre.

The head of the legal department of an investment management firm in Hong Kong said that social unrest had led to a brain drain and a decline in the demand for skilled labour.

At least USD$5 bil­lion in in­vest­ment funds pulled out of Hong Kong in 2019 in re­sponse to local political turmoil, ac­cord­ing to data from the Bank of Eng­land’s semi-an­nual Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Re­port.

The GFCI index is produced by Z/Yen Group in collaboration with the Shenzhen-based China Development Institute, and released on a bi-annual basis in March and September.

The index ranks 108 financial centres by means of an online survey of 5064 professionals.

Top 10 Cities on the GFCI 27 Rank for March 2020

City GFCI 27 RankRank Change
New York10
Tokyo 3+3
Shanghai 4+1
Hong Kong6-3
San Francisco8+4
Los Angeles10+3

The Chinese central government has been pushing heavily for the development of Shanghai into an international finance centre amidst broader efforts to open up the domestic financial sector.

On 14 Feb­ru­ary the Chi­nese cen­tral bank re­leased the “Opin­ions on Fur­ther Ac­cel­er­at­ing the Es­tab­lish­ment of Shang­hai as an In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre and Fi­nan­cial Sup­port for the In­te­grated De­vel­op­ment of the Yangtze River Delta” (关于进一步加快推进上海国际金融中心建设和金融支持长三角一体化发展的意见), which placed especial emphasis on pilot schemes in the Lingang New Area.

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