London and Paris have emerged as the best cities in Europe to locate a business while Moscow was rated the best city for future expansion in the latest European Cities Monitor report.

The report published this morning by Cushman & Wakefield said the UK capital was the top-rated city increasing its lead over Paris while Germany’s Frankfurt came in third place.

The top three were followed by the closely grouped cities of Barcelona, Amsterdam and Brussels, with Amsterdam just overtaking Brussels this year.

Moscow was singled out as providing the greatest business opportunities out of Europe’s ‘emerging’ eastern cities, followed by Bucharest in Romania and Istanbul in Turkey.

Barcelona, Madrid and Prague are seen as the cities doing the most to improve themselves as business locations, followed by Warsaw, which has overtaken Berlin and Budapest.

The three biggest risers in the report, which is based on interviews with senior managers and board directors in charge of the location of 500 top European companies, were all regional cities – Geneva, Lyon and Manchester.

The categories used to rank the cities included: easy access to markets; telecommunications; external transport links; quality of life; the availability of qualified staff; the costs of staff; climate governments create; value for money of office space; availability of office space; languages spoken; internal transport and freedom from pollution.