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Shanghai in No.5 spot among financial hubs

By Chu Daye (People's Daily)    09:09, March 21, 2019

Shanghai will likely surpass Singapore as the world's fourth-largest financial hub within three years, based on the metrics of a recent ranking of global financial centers that put the city in fifth position, thanks to its strength in the volume of products and deals, as well as further opening-up, a Chinese analyst said on March 17. 

The 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower is a landmark building in Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone of Shanghai. (Photo: People’s Daily Online)

Shanghai retained the No.5 position but saw its score move closer to those of global hubs including New York and London, according to the 25th edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 25) compiled by the China Development Institute in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province and London-based Z/Yen Partners.

The GFCI 25 provides evaluations of future competitiveness and rankings for more than 110 major financial centers has received considerable attention from the global financial community.

China announced an action plan in January to transform Shanghai into an international financial center by 2020, with a focus on yuan-denominated products and strong financial resource allocation capability.

New York remains in first place in the index with 794 points, followed by London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Shanghai was just ahead of Tokyo with a score of 770 points. In the previous survey in September 2018, Shanghai's ranking was also fifth with a score of 766 points.

In April 2018, China's first "unmanned bank" opened in Shanghai. In "unmanned bank", all kinds of business are handled by two intelligent robots. (Photo: People’s Daily Online)

"This ranking focuses on volume. Shanghai has the vast Chinese domestic market as its source for growth," Xi Junyang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics told the Global Times on March 17.

Shanghai made great progress in 2018 in terms of the volume of deals and the growth in types of financial products, Xi said. Its level of openness also greatly improved.

In 2018, Shanghai had financial market turnover of $245.15 trillion, up 15.2 percent year-on-year, according to news site jiemian.com on Friday.

Indication of greater openness in recent years in Shanghai included the internationalization of the Shanghai Gold Exchange and the creation of a crude futures exchange. A bond connect plan is also in the works to integrate bond investors with the global market, and the daily quota on the Hong Kong-Shanghai stock link program has been expanded.

"Improved rankings of Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong reflect the advance of China's financial industry and its trend of greater openness. Their influence is also rising as global economic activity shifts toward Asia," Zhao Xijun, deputy director of the Finance and Securities Research Institute at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

When the index was first published in 2007, Shanghai only ranked in 24th position with a score of 576 points. Its gap with the No.1 global hub narrowed by 165 points over the years,said jiemian.com. 

However, experts saidto catch up with global leaders, Shanghai still has a lot to do.

"There has been much progress but there is also much room for improvement," Zhao said. "We must not forget that the reason China develops its financial industry is to let it serve the overall economy.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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