The Milken Institute

October 26, 2005 00:01 ET

The Brits Move Up: 2005 Milken Institute Capital Access Index Shows the U.K. Has World's Best Market for Entrepreneurs

LOS ANGELES--(CCNMatthews - Oct 26, 2005) -

For the first time since the rankings began, the United Kingdom tops this year's Milken Institute Capital Access Index. The index measures which nations have the best markets for entrepreneurs.

The U.K., which was third on last year's index, rose to the number-one ranking thanks to its growing and vibrant equity market. Hong Kong, last year's number one, dropped to second this year, followed by Singapore and the United States.

Several countries moved up considerably in this year's index, including Argentina (up 10 positions, from 76th to 66th), Mexico (eight positions, from 51st to 43rd) and Bulgaria (up eight, from 61st to 53rd). Others dropped significantly, including the Philippines (nine positions, from 49th to 58th), Brazil (seven positions, from 33rd to 40th) and Thailand (six places, from 24th to 30th).

The Capital Access Index is a comprehensive analysis of the breadth, depth and vitality of capital markets around the world. It is based on the simple premise, but complex measurements, showing that efficient financial markets -- making capital accessible to the entrepreneurs who can use it to grow and sustain companies and generate jobs -- are the key for long-term growth and reducing poverty and income polarization.



The Top 10 markets (with 2004 ranking):

1. United Kingdom (3)
2. Hong Kong (1)
3. Singapore (2)
4. United States (6)
5. Sweden (4)
6. Denmark (9)
7. Australia (7)
8. Norway (13)
9. Finland (5)
10. (tie) Canada (10)
(tie) Ireland (11)



In addition to the Capital Access Index, each year the Institute focuses its report on one aspect of entrepreneurial finance. This year's focus is securitization -- the process of issuing securities backed by the cash flows from a pool of underlying assets, such as home mortgages.

Securitization has become a pervasive financing mechanism, with total worldwide issuance of USD$4.7 trillion in 2004. The U.S. and Western Europe accounted for 90 percent of that.

"Best Markets for Entrepreneurial Finance: 2005 Capital Access Index" is available at www.milkeninstitute.org.

About the Institute: The Milken Institute (www.milkeninstitute.org) is a nonprofit, independent economic think tank whose mission is to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations around the world.

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