Hong Kong Moves to Number 1 Spot in Index

Hong Kong is, today, one of the top financial markets in the world. In 2011, they took the number one spot on the World Economic Forum’s 2011 index of financial market development. And they were the first Asian financial center ever to do so.

The report looks at 60 of the world’s leading financial systems with over 100 variables evaluated. Hong Kong jumped from its previous fourth place status with concerns swirling about the financial stability in the United States and lower scores in the UK for their IPO activity. Certainly, this is great news for business people in the area. This includes entrepreneurs like Daniel Lam, CEOs like Andrew Brandler, and hedge fund managers like Seth Fischer, Hong Kong business people who will all benefit from this news.

The top 10 list remained relatively unchanged, other than the dramatic shift for Hong Kong; although Belgium did fall out of the top 10. It was replaced by Norway. The top ten, in order included:

1. Hong Kong

2. United States

3. United Kingdom

4. Singapore

5. Australia

6. Canada

7. Netherlands

8. Japan

9. Switzerland

10. Norway

As Kevin Steinberg, COO of World Economic Forum USA said in a statement that accompanied the report, “Hong Kong’s ascent to the top of our index marks a major milestone, the first time in the report’s history that the United Kingdom or the US didn’t come out on top.”

Hong Kong: a Global Center for Hedge Fund Activity

Hong Kong has increasingly become a power house in the financial world, and with good reason. Many hedge fund managers, like Seth Fischer Oasis Investments Limited, use Hong Kong as their base of activity.

A survey released by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in March 2011 confirmed this growth of activity. Entitled “Report of the Survey on Hedge Fund Activities of SFC-licensed Managers/Advisers,” it shows that assets under management or advisory in Hong Kong increased 14% from March 2009 to September 2010. The number of hedge funds that are managed by SFC-licensed hedge fund managers in Hong Kong also grew tremendously. While it stood at 538 in September of 2010, it was five times the level in 2004.

By September 2010, the survey pinpointed that 66.1% of the total assets under management were invested in the Asia Pacific markets and 92% of the investors were from overseas.

As Martin Wheatley, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer explained, “Closer scrutiny of the hedge fund industry is a global trend. We will continue to maintain a balanced approach to regulation with a view to allowing room for industry development and growth without compromising investor protection.”