The World Economic Forum released a big study out today.
The headline finding has understandably caught the headlines: Hong Kong has overtaken the U.S. and the UK to become the world’s most developed market for the first time.
Last year, the UK ranked 2nd; now it ranks 3rd, preceded by the U.S. and Hong Kong.
The rest of the top 10, in descending order, comprises: Singapore, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.
However, it’s not necessarily the headline figures that are interesting: it’s the detailed data in the country profiles. Here, every conceivable country around the world is ranked according to its particular expertise in various areas of financial services.
This is what you need to know.
If you work in equity capital markets, you should be in:
China. China ranks highest for its share of the world’s IPOs. On the other hand, fees earned by IPOs are higher in Hong Kong, so maybe you want to be there instead.
If you work in M&A, you should be in:
The U.S. The United States dominates the M&A market (period). Last year, it was ascribed a score of 34 for its dominance in global M&A deals; the UK was ascribed a score of 9.
If you work in securitization, you should be in:
The U.S. again. Even after the subprime crisis, the United States remains by far the most dominant securitization market. It’s ascribed a score of 52 for its share of securitization deals globally. The UK gets a score of 1.3.
If you work in FX, you should be in:
The UK. The UK is the leading center globally for: FX spot trading, FX swap trading and "outright FX turnover."
If you work in fixed income derivatives, you should be in:
The UK. The UK dominates trading in interest rate derivatives (swaps, options and forwards) and FX derivatives (swaps, options and forwards).
If you want to work somewhere with high volumes of cash equity trading (relative to the size of the market), you should be in:
Italy. Italy has the highest stock market turnover ratio of any country globally.
On the other hand, Hong Kong has the highest stock market capitalization to GDP and Switzerland has the highest ratio of stock market value trading to GDP.
If you want to work somewhere with a big bond market relative to GDP, you should be in:
Denmark. Or Poland.
Denmark has the biggest private bond market relative to GDP. Poland has the biggest public bond market.
If you want to work somewhere where there will probably not be a banking crisis, you should work in:
Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Tanzania, the Hong Kong or the UAE, in that order.
You may wish to avoid: Ghana, Ukraine, Hungary, Ireland and Argentina, in that order.