25 September 2009, London

Asian cities challenge old financial center order

London and New York's positions as the world's leading financial centres are being challenged by the rise of Asian cities, according to a survey.

Hong Kong and Singapore lead five Asian cities that appear in the City of London Corporation's Global Financial Centres index of competitive cities.

The other three are the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

The report also found there was "cautious optimism" in the financial industry about economic recovery.

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Singapore
  5. Shenzhen
  6. Zurich
  7. Tokyo
  8. Chicago
  9. Geneva
  10. Shanghai

Source: City of London Corporation

It said a key trend highlighted by the survey was "further movement of the financial business centre of gravity towards fast-developing markets - especially in Asia."

These markets, it said, had not been affected as badly by the financial crisis than many of the leading European and North American centres.

The report said the "speed and size of the surge" in Asian cities' competitiveness was a "surprise".

It also highlighted concerns among established cities of a regulatory backlash in light of the financial crisis that sparked the global economic downturn.

Such a backlash, they fear, could undermine their competitiveness.

The G20 is meeting this week in Pittsburgh to discuss reforms of the global financial system.

A number of governments have said they want far tighter regulation of banks to prevent another crisis in the future.


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