Dubai no longer world's fastest rising financial centre

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Dubai has dropped from the top of a list of the fastest rising financial centres in the world, it was announced on Wednesday.

The latest independent Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) showed that Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen are now considered the most likely to become more significant on the world stage, a position held by Dubai in last year’s index.

Dubai also fell to fifth in the list of financial centres where international companies saw future offices being opened, behind four Asian-based centres.

Overall, London and New York led the way but Hong Kong and Singapore both saw their ratings increase and have joined them in a top four.

Dubai was also named in the top five centres perceived to have been affected most by the global economic meltdown. A GFCI questionnaire showed that while New York and London were deemed the worst hit, Dubai was listed fourth.

The report, which is based on a wide survey of leading global financial players, suggested that the rise of Asia was part of a more general return of confidence among respondents - with all but three centres (Dublin, Glasgow and Gibraltar) recording stable or higher than previous ratings.

GFCI 5, published in March 2009, saw each of the 62 centres listed experience an overall ratings drop in the face of global economic turmoil. Now, six months later, the overall ratings have returned to the levels exhibited in last September’s GFCI 4.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, which commissioned the research said: "This independent research demonstrates three trends: cautious optimism that the global financial services industry is showing signs of recovery, further movement of the financial business centre of gravity towards fast-developing markets - especially in Asia; and the emergence of a 'Premier League' of economically and socially interconnected cities."

The GFCI tracks the underlying competitiveness of financial centres. It is commissioned every six months by the City of London Corporation. The rankings are compiled by the independent Z/Yen Group from surveys of finance professionals around the world and competitiveness indicators.