Hong Kong 'most developed' financial market, says WEF

Hong Kong skyline
Image caption Hong Kong's rise to the top spot is because of non-banking services such as IPOs and insurance

Hong Kong is the world's most developed financial market, according to a World Economic Forum report, overtaking the US and the UK for the first time.

The US slipped to second place, as financial stability remains a concern there, said the report.

"Hong Kong's ascent to the top of our index marks a major milestone," said Kevin Steinberg, of the World Economic Forum.

The WEF's Financial Stability Index ranks 60 countries' financial systems.

Mr Steinberg added that it was the first time in the report's history that the United Kingdom or the US were not in first place.

Leadership challenge

Hong Kong's rise was attributed to non-banking services such as IPOs or initial public offerings and insurance, the report said.

Launched in 2008, the ranking is based on efficiency and size of banking and other financial services, the business environment and financial stability amongst other things.

"While Western financial centres are understandably focused on short-term challenges, this report should serve as a wake-up call that their long-term leadership may be in jeopardy," Mr Steinberg said.

Hong Kong, which jumped to first from fourth place, benefited from the crackdown on the financial sectors in the US and the UK.

Singapore came in fourth, with Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland and Norway completing the top 10.

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