Wed, Mar 23, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Taipei still in 19th place as financial center: survey

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei’s ranking remained unchanged at 19th in terms of competiveness among international financial centers over the past six months, lagging consistently behind Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian peers, a survey by a London-based company showed yesterday.

The latest Global Financial Centers Index, compiled by Z/Yen Group and commissioned by the City of London Corp, of 75 financial centers’ business environments, quality of staff, market access and infrastructure, ranked Taipei in 19th place, the same as in September last year.

Hong Kong was unchanged at third place after London and New York, and was trailed closely by Singapore and Shanghai.

Hong Kong is 10 points behind New York and 16 points behind London, the survey said. The three centers control a large proportion of financial transactions — approximately 70 percent of equity trading — and are likely to remain financial powerhouses for the foreseeable future, the survey said.

“We continue to believe that the relationships between London, New York and Hong Kong are mutually supportive,” the semi-annual survey said, after analyzing 33,751 financial center assessments from 1,970 business services professionals.

While many industry professionals see a great deal of competition, policymakers appear to recognize that working together on regulatory reform is likely to enhance the competitiveness of these centers, the survey said.

Asia continues to exhibit enhanced competitiveness with eight centers in the top 20, against six in North America and five in Europe, according to the survey.

Tokyo tied with Shanghai for fifth place while Shenzhen, Seoul and Beijing ranked in 15th, 16th and 17th place respectively, the survey indicated.

“Asia continues to be where respondents expect to observe the most significant improvements in performance and where respondents’ organizations are most likely to open offices over the next few years,” the survey said.

Seoul reported the biggest rating improvement both in the region and worldwide, moving up eight notches from 24th place six months earlier, after gaining 25 points.

“It would appear that the promotion of the city as a financial center is starting to pay off,” the survey said.

In general, Asian centers are well supported by Asian respondents. Outside Asia, North American respondents are more positive than average about Hong Kong and Shanghai, but less positive about Beijing. The number of assessments given to Asian centers by European-based respondents was low, suggesting Asian centers are not as well known or regarded.

Taxation, transparency and predictability of regulation, a level playing field and regulatory simplification top the list of changes that would best improve a financial center’s competitiveness.

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