By Maurits Elen
Hong Kong has now officially become the most developed financial market in the world after it jumped from fourth position to first on the World Economic Forum index of financial market development. Beating out the established UK and US leaders, it has become the first Asian financial center ever to top the index.
According to a World Economic Forum report released yesterday, the US and the UK had to hand over their longheld ranks as leading countries on the WEF’s Financial Stability Index.
The index keeps track of 60 countries’ financial systems and keeps rank based on the factors, policies and institutions that lead to effective financial intermediation and markets, as well as deep and broad access to capital and financial services.
Lingering uncertainty in global financial markets dropped the US to second place and the UK to third. Singapore also slipped one place to fourth this year. The other countries in the top ten are Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, and Norway.
Hong Kong benefited from the deteriorated buoyancy on the financial markets in the US and the UK, shoring up a strong score in non-banking services such as initial public offerings (IPOs) and insurance.
Kevin Steinberg, chief operating officer of the WEF in the US, elaborated on the report:
”While Western financial centers are understandably focused on short-term challenges, this report should serve as a wake-up call that their long-term leadership may be in jeopardy. Hong Kong’s ascent to the top of our index marks a major milestone.”