The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) has soared to become the second largest exchange in the world.

As investors shift to equities for higher returns, strong inflows have bolstered up trading volume on HKEx, the biggest bourses in Asia, with shares rising nearly 70 percent since the beginning of 2009.

HKEx and Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa, the biggest bourses in Latin America, have overtaken NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq OMX and the London Stock Exchange in the value of shares in the exchange companies themselves.

HKEx is now the world’s No. 2 exchange by market value, second only to CME Group, the largest US futures exchange. BM&F Bovespa is in fourth place, after Deutsche Börse, the German exchange. The LSE has dropped to 10th place.

The rise of HKEx in world ranking is a sign of how the economic crisis and tough competition in mature markets is reshaping the global exchange landscape.