PHL climbs six notches on WEF financial development ranking

WEF Financial Development Report 2011

The Philippine economy posted “impressive” performance, rising six notches on  the 2011 financial development ranking of 60 countries, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said Wednesday.  

Results of WEF’s Financial Development Index (FDI) rankings of 60 countries released Wednesday showed that the Philippines climbed to 44th overall from 50th in the previous report.  

“Financial intermediation remains an area of strength for the Philippines as its non-banking financial services (20th) and financial markets (33rd) continue to develop,” the FDI 2011 rankings showed.  

Among the aspects identified as the country’s relative advantages are “securitization (5th), M&A activity (25th), and derivatives markets (25th).”  

Noted as continuing hindrances to development are the business environment (55th) and financial access (50th).   “A weak business environment is the result of a lack of infrastructure (53rd) and an extremely high cost of doing business (60th),” according to the FDI 2011 report.  

The Philippines also ranked low in terms of “limitations in financial access in areas such as foreign direct investment (48th) and the total number of ATMs (45th).  

Hong Kong overtakes US, UK  

“Hong Kong Special Administrative Region overtakes the United States and the United Kingdom to top the World Economic Forum’s fourth annual Financial Development Report. As the first Asian financial center to achieve this rank, Hong Kong’s position was bolstered by strong scores in non-banking financial services such as IPO activity and insurance,” the WEF said.  

The Financial Development Report “aims to provide a comprehensive means for countries to benchmark various aspects of their financial systems and establish priorities for improvement. It is published annually so that countries can benchmark themselves and track their progress over time.”  

For the various index components, the 60 countries were rated using a 7-point scale with 7 being the highest value. The Philippines' 44th ranking was the result of an overall rating of 3.1 out of a highest possible 7.0.