, Singapore

Singapore remains fourth best financial centre worldwide

However, Shanghai may usurp its spot after it narrowed the gap to a single point.

Singapore moved closer towards a top three finish in the latest ranking of the world’s financial centres, according to the Global Financial Centres Index survey by the London think tank Z/Yen and the China Development Institute.

Also read: Singapore dethrones US as the most competitive economy

The island-state finished only nine points behind third-placer Hong Kong. New York and London remained the top two global financial centres, respectively.

Shanghai rounded-up the top five and posed a threat to Singapore after closing the gap to only a single point.

All five top centres’ ratings fell in the September index. Singapore’s score of 762 was ten points down compared to its March rating.

Singapore ranked fourth in all areas of competitiveness measured: business environment (political stability, regulation, tax), human capital (labour market, quality of life, skills), infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputation.

Also read: Singapore is the world's second freest economy: report

Sector-wise, Singapore recorded its highest-place finish in the insurance sector at third place globally. It also finished fourth in professional services; fifth in both government and regulatory, and investment management; and sixth in banking.

Singapore also ranked as the eighth-most competitive location for fostering the FinTech industry, behind mainland Chinese hubs and Hong Kong. Mainland China cities dominated the list, with Beijing and Shanghai occupying the top two spots whilst Guangzhou and Shenzhen finished at fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Interestingly, survey respondents considered Singapore as amongst the financial hubs that will benefit substantially from Brexit in the long term along with New York and Hong Kong.

In Asia Pacific, Tokyo and Beijing rounded up the top five as they climbed in ratings. Beijing jumped two places to rank seventh globally whilst Shenzhen jumped five places to land itself as the ninth best financial centres worldwide. Tokyo remained at sixth place.

The report noted that most APAC cities performed well in the survey. “There has been a strong trend of Asia Pacific centres improving over several years. The top seven centres in the region are now in the top 15 centres in the index,” the report read.

Mumbai, Wellington, and Chengdu showed strong increases in the current index. In contrast, Melbourne fell four places after a strong performance in the March index.

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