Hong Kong has been chosen the world’s number one financial center for the second straight years, by the World Economic Forum.

The city shows strength in its business environment, infrastructure and favorable tax scheme, the organization said in a report.

“This year, Hong Kong not only maintains its position, but also manages to increase its relative score, thereby creating a wider gap between it and United States,” the WEF said in a report.

The United States, Britain, Singapore, Australia and Canada followed Hong Kong on the list this year. The top six remained unchanged from 2011, owing to slow global recovery and capital flows, the WEF said.

Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden also made to the top ten this year.

Mainland Chinese shares lifted Hong Kong markets with their best daily performance in nearly a month on Thursday, boosted by stronger Chinese economic data and a report that more city governments were easing restrictions on the real estate sector.

The state-run China Securities Journal reported on Thursday that as many as six Chinese cities have made it easier to obtain funds for home purchases which will, in turn, bolster land sales, a major revenue source for local governments.

The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading break 0.6 percent higher at 21,772.6, just shy of the year’s intra-day highs of 21,847.7. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.8 percent.

The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings jumped 2.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.8 percent. Both indices are set for their respective best daily performance since October 9, outshining Asian peers on the day.

In Hong Kong, traders said some investors were rotating out of Hong Kong developers and into Chinese developers, with the worst seemingly over for the latter and some major Chinese developers reported positive third-quarter earnings.

On the other hand, some investors expect more policy curbs in Hong Kong could be in store because of greater capital inflows.

China Overseas Land & Investment reversed early losses to go into the midday break up 1.2 percent. China Resources Land was up 1.4 percent.

Hong Kong developers Cheung Kong Holdings was up 0.5 percent, while Henderson Land edged up 0.6 percent — both recovering from steep losses earlier this week after Hong Kong announced late last Friday demand-side home purchase curbs on the sector aimed at reducing foreign demand.

 

Shayne Heffernan

Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reached a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.Read the Terms of Service

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