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Financial centers in Asia-Pacific region catching up to West

Financial centers in the Asia-Pacific region are catching up rapidly with traditional ones in the West, a new report shows.

Of the top 10 financial centers in the world, five are from the Asia Pacific-region, according to Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI).

The report was jointly published by London-based think tank Z/Yen and Shenzhen-based think tank China Development Institute on Monday.

London topped the list, followed by New York and Hong Kong.

Singapore and Tokyo grabbed the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Shanghai remained in sixth place in the global ranking, but its gap with Tokyo is narrowing.

The other four cities in the top 10 list are Toronto, Geneva, Sydney and Boston.

Financial centers in the Asia Pacific region are becoming stronger and the pace of catching up with their western counterparts is accelerating, due to such factors as rapid economic growth in the region, the UK's exit from the European Union and rising protectionism in the United States, the report says.

China, in particular, is gaining strong momentum. Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Chengdu have moved forward two, four, 14 and four places, respectively, in the ranking.

GFCI, first launched in 2007, is published twice a year, in March and September.