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New York Replaces London As Top Financial Center

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
20 March, 2014

New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore have once again topped the latest Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI), compiled by Z/Yen, but New York has taken the lead.

New York is first in the list of 83 jurisdictions with 786 points, overtaking London (784 points) for the first time in seven years. London's reputation has suffered due to uncertainty over taxation, and the United Kingdom's stance on foreign workers and visitors.

The 15th GFCI shows that the gap between the "big four" global financial centers and the others in the top ten has narrowed. Three years ago the difference between first and tenth was 117 points. The top ten centers are now within 75 points of each other.

On the other hand, the index reveals that the gap between Asia's leading financial centers – Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, and Shenzhen – and other centers (e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta and Mumbai) has widened.

Jersey was the leading offshore financial center in the index, in 41st place overall, followed by Guernsey (42nd), the Cayman Islands (43rd), the British Virgin Islands (44th), the Isle of Man (51st), Gibraltar (53rd), Mauritius (63rd), The Bahamas (65th), Malta (67th) and Cyprus (79th). British Virgin Islands is up four places; Gibraltar 17 places; The Bahamas two places; and Mauritius five places.

Index sponsor Qatar maintained its position as the leading financial center out of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It ranked 26th overall and its rating increased by 15 points to 687 points. Bahrain, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi also increased their ratings.

The GFCI, which surveyed 3,246 respondents, measures the competitiveness of financial centers based on the business environment, taxation, human capital, infrastructure, reputation, and market access.

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