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Australia is ranked world’s second best financial centre

Australia is ranked world’s second best financial centre


9 October 2009

Australia has risen nine places to be ranked second behind the United Kingdom in The World Economic Forum’s Financial Development Report, demonstrating the strength and resilience of its financial markets in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

The report, released on 8 October 2009, ranks 55 of the world’s leading financial systems and capital markets, analysing the drivers of financial system development and economic growth. The top five markets include the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In discussing the report, Richard Cookson, Head of Global Asset Placement for HSBC told CNBC's Squawk on the Street program that Australia was the place to invest.

The financial crisis was acutely felt in most global financial systems and caused most countries’ scores to drop significantly compared to 2008. Australia is the only country in the top 20 to have increased its score over the previous year (5.13 up from 4.98).

This strong performance caused Australia to move up nine places in the rankings compared with 2008.

The rankings are based on over 120 variables spanning institutional and business environments; financial stability; and size and depth of capital markets, among other factors. The breadth of factors covered in the report means that countries with poor financial stability scores like the UK (ranked 37th) and USA (38th) could still achieve a high relative ranking in the Index due to other strengths.

Kevin Steinberg, Chief Operating Officer, World Economic Forum USA said “We hope this report will provide some insight as to how the financial crisis has affected the world’s major financial systems. It draws attention to the diversity of factors beyond financial stability that must be addressed to support the role of financial systems in driving economic growth.”

In the face of the GFC, Australia’s financial sector remains strong and is continuing to develop as a regional and global centre with Australian based institutions seeking global mandates and viewing Australia as a base for their products.

Finance and Insurance remains a significant sector of the Australian economy, and contributed 8.1 per cent to Real Gross Value Added during 2008-09. Melbourne, Victoria is a key financial and business centre and is headquarters to six of Australia’s top ten industry pension funds and two of the top four banks.


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