Hong Kong has shown impressive growth in its foreign direct investment attraction, recording the largest global inward investment in the financial services sector.

Hong Kong tops the ranking of international financial centres (IFC) by foreign direct investments (FDI) in the financial services sector in the 12 months to the end of March 2013, having attracted a total of $1.32bn through 35 projects. The city-state has moved up one place in the ranking compared to the previous year's ranking.

Two other Asian cities, Shanghai and Beijing, also moved up the ranking to complete the top three. Climbing up from fifth to second place, Shanghai attracted a total of $1.29bn through 17 projects. Beijing moved from fourth to third place, having attracted $1.2bn through 16 projects.

Singapore, which was ranked first in the previous year's ranking, slipped down to fourth place having attracted $928m of FDI through 25 financial services projects. London, the only non-Asia-Pacific international financial centre (IFC) in the top 10, also lost some ground. It is down from third to fourth in the most recent ranking having attracted a total of $1.05bn through 34 projects. Its US rival, New York, has fallen even further down the list, from 11th to 14th. It recorded $195m through 16 financial service sector projects.

Further down the ranking, a few centres showed great improvement in FDI attraction. São Paulo leapfrogged to 10th place from its previous 25th, Seoul reached 16th place from 30th, and Vienna jumped to 17th from 46th. Luxembourg made it into 24th place, after failing to attract any financial services FDI in the previous year's ranking.

Outbound powerhouses

If the world's leading financial hubs of London and New York have been slipping down the ranking in terms of inward financial services FDI, they still maintain firm hold of the top two spots in terms of outward FDI in the sector. London generated the most outward FDI globally, recording $3.64bn of investment through 125 projects, and New York ranked second with $2.07bn of investment through 60 projects.

Seoul, the only emerging market city in the top five IFCs for outward FDI, climbed 10 places from the previous ranking into third place. It generated a total of $1.54bn of foreign investment through 25 projects, replacing Toronto, which slipped into eighth position.

Paris climbed up three places to rank fourth with $1.17bn of investment through 42 projects, and Tokyo maintained its fifth-place ranking with $1.05bn and 25 projects.

Further down the list, some IFCs showed great improvement in their outward FDI records. Hong Kong climbed to seventh place from 23rd, and Dubai moved up to ninth position from its previous 20th. Baharain's Manama made the biggest improvement, moving into 15th place from 43rd. Two other new entrants in the top 25 were Melbourne and Luxembourg, which moved from 31st and 38th into 18th and 23rd, respectively.

Hong Kong tops inward financial services FDI ranking


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