Hong Kong poses the greatest threat among Asian cities to the dominance of London and New York as the top world financial centres, according to research commissioned by the City of London Corporation.

The report, by Research Republic, looked at Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, the three Asian centres ranked in the top 10 in the most recent Global Financial Centres Index, a biannual ranking by Z/Yen Group.

The study concluded that, in the near future, none of the three was likely to dominate Asia the way London and New York have done for European and US finance. However Hong Kong, currently ranked fourth, is the strongest contender because of its historic roots in finance and its ability to tap the Chinese market.

Singapore, which leapfrogged Hong Kong for third in last month’s index, is fast becoming a world centre for asset management and private banking to rival Switzerland, but the current report concluded it will ultimately be limited by its small domestic market. Tokyo, ranked seventh, has stability but is hampered by a shrinking population, inward-looking policies and 15 years of slow growth.

Financial Times