Major developments since GFCI 11 was published in March 2012:
• Only 49% of respondents based in London now feel that London will become more competitive over the next three years. This compares with 63% of respondents based elsewhere in Europe, 73% of respondents based in Asia and 77% of respondents based in offshore centres.
• The Euro crisis continues to be reflected in the GFCI ratings of the financial centres within the weaker Euro economies. Madrid, Lisbon, Dublin and Athens were all down in GFCI 10 and GFCI 11. These declines have continued in GFCI 12. Frankfurt and Paris both rose slightly in GFCI 11 but GFCI 12 sees a reversal of these gains. There have however, been some improvements in Europe. Geneva has now re-entered the GFCI top ten.
• The past trend of large rises in the ratings of Asia/Pacific centres appears to have ended. Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Shenzhen all decline in GFCI 12. Centres on the mainland of China have seen significant declines with Shanghai the largest faller in the index, down 31 points (following a decline of 37 points in GFCI 11). Beijing is down 18 points. Hong Kong sees a 21 point drop (following a decline of 16 points in GFCI 11). GFCI respondents believe that the Asian centres will continue to become more significant in the medium to long term. However, some respondents question whether financial centres on mainland China will be able to continue their growth without relaxations in currency controls.
• The offshore centres, having suffered significant reputational damage in the past four years, regained ground in GFCI 10 and GFCI 11. GFCI 12 shows a mixed picture with no significant moves (apart from the Bahamas which gained 22 points). Jersey and Guernsey remain the leading offshore centres.
• Progress is being shown in the Middle East with Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh all seeing rises in both ratings and ranks in GFCI 12.
• The picture in the Americas is mixed. The main centres in the USA are down in GFCI 12 with New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC all seeing falls in the ratings. In Canada, Toronto sees a very small decline whilst Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver have all risen. In South America Sao Paulo shows the largest rise of the three centres.
GFCI 12 Top 20 Financial Centres