Hong Kong takes top IFC gong

Hong_KongHong Kong has been named as the leading international financial centre of 2018, corporate service provider, Vistra said. Hong Kong leapt one spot to take the lead from the UK, which dropped two places to be ranked in third place. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) came in second place. There has been a greater demand for transparency around the world due to the negative publicity around offshore centres and the changing regulatory landscape to meet these calls, Vistra said in a statement on March 18, 2019. The island’s lead is attributed to the growing number of Chinese companies listed on the island’s stock exchange and an increase of Chinese high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with intricate needs. Brexit has had a significant impact on the UK ahead of its scheduled departure from the European Union on March 29, 2019. “Today, respondents take a dimmer view of Brexit’s implications with only 35% expect the UK to become more open to the industry and IFCs after Brexit,” said Vistra. “If the country cannot provide attractive conditions for business, it is expected that a greater number of organisations will switch to Luxembourg or Frankfurt as their European headquarters.” Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands and the UK occupy the top three spots respectively. The remaining seven jurisdictions in order of ranking are: the US, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands and Jersey. ©2019 funds global asia

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