The Cayman Islands bucked the declining trend of other major offshore centers by climbing four spots to 34th place in the Global Financial Centers Index.
The Cayman Islands attained a global average score of 660, well up from 633 in the previous index, GFCI 17.
The index published by Z/Yen Group and sponsored by the Qatari Financial Centre Authority is updated twice a year and based on 28,676 financial center assessments completed by 3,194 financial services professionals.
Respondents from the Middle East and Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia assessed Cayman most favorably, while the assessment from professionals in Western Europe was much more negative.
While Cayman increased its points total by 18 as it climbed the ranks, Bermuda dropped from 41st to 42nd and the BVI fell from the 34th to 43rd place. Panama dropped four spots to 52nd place.
Overall, London climbed to the top of the ranking, swapping places with New York, but both financial centers are complementary rather than competing, Z/Yen Group said in a press statement. The group added that it is noticeable that assessments for London have been higher since the general election in the U.K. in May 2015.
Meanwhile, competition from Asia is intensifying with Hong Kong and Singapore trailing in third and fourth place and Tokyo and Seoul remaining in the Global Financial Centers Index Top 10.
Mark Yeandle, associate director at the Z/Yen Group and author of the GFCI, said, “Whilst London and New York still lead the field, the next four centers are all Asian. We are launching GFCI 18 in China to mark the success of the Chinese centers in becoming more competitive.”
Western European centers also showed signs of recovery as Frankfurt rose five places to 14th and Dublin moved up six to 46th.
Despite the economic downturn in Brazil, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro rose strongly. Sao Paulo remains the top Latin American centre in GFCI 18, and along with Rio de Janeiro, made significant progress in both the ratings and rankings.