SOURCE: Milken Institute

Milken Institute

April 28, 2009 12:00 ET

Canada Claims Top Spot in Milken Institute Capital Access Index

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - In an age of restricted credit, entrepreneurs in some regions may find it increasingly difficult to secure access to capital for growth and development. However, Canada, with its stable equity market and a sound economic policy framework, was able to withstand some of the evolving credit market issues and moved to first place in the Milken Institute's 2008 Capital Access Index, an annual ranking of entrepreneurial access to capital around the world.

The report notes that emerging markets may be in a better position to contain the impact and continue to improve their ability to provide capital to growing industries and businesses. Some of the more well-established markets will need additional time to recover lost ground.

Hong Kong, which had held the top spot for two years running, shifted down to 2nd place, mainly due to lower international reserves and higher currency volatility. Hong Kong's international reserves dropped in 2007 as compared to 2006 levels. Reserves have since caught up and this will be reflected in the next issue of the Index.

The United States found its place back among the top 10, having fallen to 11th in last year's rankings, and showed improvement in alternative capital and international funding components. However, a drag in bond markets stemming from the credit and housing market turmoil, kept them parked at 6th for the year.

The top 10 markets (with 2007 ranking):

1.  Canada (4)
2.  Hong Kong SAR (1)
3.  Switzerland (7)
4.  United Kingdom (2)
5.  Singapore (4)
6.  United States (11)
7.  Netherlands (15)
8.  Norway (9)
9.  Australia (8)
10. Finland (9)

First developed in 1998, the Milken Institute Capital Access Index ranks countries around the world in terms of their ability to support entrepreneurial activity by providing access to capital. The rankings take into account a variety of factors: macroeconomic environments, financial and banking institutions, the development of the equity and bond markets and alternative capital sources (such as venture capital, credit cards and private placements -- all of which are increasingly important in emerging markets).

The 2008 Capital Access Index is available at www.milkeninstitute.org.

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