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Derivatives

Hong Kong Edges Ahead Of Singapore In Hub Bragging Rights

Hong Kong scored a number of office expansions and new bases this year, seeming to take it in to the lead in the perennial race with rival trading hub Singapore.

Hong Kong scored a number of office expansions and new bases this year, seeming to take it in to the lead in the perennial race with rival trading hub Singapore. For now at least. Among the arrivers and expanders are Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (DW, 12/1), Rabobank (DW, 3/31), Commerzbank (DW, 2/24) and Macquarie (DW, 2/24).

But not all is rosy. Word around the special administrative region is that executives, particularly those with children, are concerned by the air quality. Some firms have been pressuring the local government by threatening to leave. "If you can't get people to work here then it is an issue," said one Hong Kong head of trading. As to whether or not houses could actually leave, however, he was less certain. As well as its central location in the region Hong Kong is popular because it gives access to China, the big growth market, he noted.

Looking forward, another issue for Hong Kong is the expected opening up of India, meaning China won't be the only significant area for growth. "Firms could choose Mumbai--though that's even more polluted!" he said. Another candidate for an access base to the potentially vast Indian market could be Singapore, with its closer geographical proximity and its large population of Indian nationals. "I expect that is something [Singapore] will try to leverage," the trader said.

Officials from the AFMA could not be reached for comment.

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