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
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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.