The Banker: Cayman leading specialised financial centre

Financial publication the Banker
has ranked the Cayman Islands as the leading specialised financial centre in
its September issue.

The second edition of the ranking
of international financial centres is not only based on the size of IFCs, but
also factors such as economic indicators, business friendliness, cost factors
and financial markets information. It focused on the level of international
business and the value offered to businesses aiming to expand overseas.

“In terms of the specialised
financial centres the Cayman Islands retained the lead, while Jersey was
replaced in second place by Bermuda,” said Silvia Pavoni, investment editor of
the Banker.

The data used for the specialised
centres ranking took into account specialist sectors such as the captive
insurance industry and relied strongly on the fDi Benchmark, which attempts to
measure the cost and quality competitiveness of financial centres, the Banker
said.

Cayman, for example, remains the
leading domicile for hedge funds, health care captives and cat bond issuance.

In the general IFC category the
battle for supremacy between London and New York has been won this year by New York,
Ms Pavoni said. 

While London retains the lead in
the financial markets sub rankings, the city lost ground in the asset under
management table, she explained.

New York received better scores
with regard to its economic potential and Wall Street banks held higher levels
of Tier 1 capital, which was used as a measure of banking sector strength.

Hong Kong is the fastest mover
within the top ten, improving from 16th position last year to sixth in 2010.
The jump reflects the growing importance of Hong Kong as China’s international
market and the efforts of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in attracting investors,
Ms Pavoni said.

Given the competitive pressure from
emerging markets, it will be interesting to see whether new regulations
impacting the financial centres in New York and London will encourage more
firms to look at Asia as a domicile, she added.

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