( dpa ) - Hong Kong took first place in capital access ratings based on the strength of its banking infrastructure and availability of foreign funds, a think-tank report said Friday.
The Capital Access Index for last year compiled by the Milken Institute calibrated how countries create the conditions necessary for firms to raise capital.
Following Hong Kong, the easiest places for firms to access capital were Britain, Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Australia, Finland and Norway, said the findings published in The Business Times.
The seven factors considered are the macroeconomic environment, financial and banking sector, equity markets, bond markets, alternative sources of capital and international funding.
The average score in Asia was 4.56, behind the industrialized countries at 7.01 and emerging regions such as the Middle East at 4.8 and Central and Eastern Europe at 4.73.
Asia performed better on measures of macroeconomic environment and international funding, the report said. The region scored poorly on institutional environment, bond markets and alternative capital sources.
Among the countries that slipped in the rankings were Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
China improved slightly to 45th place.
"Chinese investment beyond domestic firms has helped diversify the economy but also reduced the availability of capital within China's own borders," the report said.
The index ranked 122 countries.