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China CFA candidates up 50%

Chinese candidates taking the CFA exam increased 49% to 50,000 this year, an indicator of China's investment sector growth, according to the CFA Institute.

Mainland China also had the most number of candidates taking all three levels of exams in June, according to a statement from the CFA Institute.

Other Asia-Pacific testing centres that had a notable numbers of candidates were India, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Korea.

Top 10 CFA testing centres (number of candidates)

Mainland China

50,642

US

31,988

India

18,949

Canada

13,125

UK

11,380

Hong Kong

5,862

Australia

4,986

Singapore

3,369

Korea

2,409

South Africa

2,359

Source: CFA Institute

The surge in Chinese candidates was revealed after tallying the results of the June level III exam, which was taken by 35,518 candidates, the institute said.

“56 percent have passed, completing their final CFA program exam. Asia-Pacific accounts for 53% of candidates taking the three levels of examination.”

Number of global candidates (June 2018 exams)

Exam level

Total number of candidates

% passed

10-year avg pass rate

CFA level I

79,507

43%

41%

CFA level II

64,216

45%

44%

CFA level III

35,518

56%

52%

Source: CFA Institute

Globally, 180,000 candidates take the exam – a 46% year-on-year increase, the statement said.

“We continue to see a fast-growing demand for the CFA charter in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China and India,” Nick Pollard, managing director for Asia-Pacific at the institute, said in the statement.

“The investment sector growth in both China and India has certainly led to the need for more internationally-minded and qualified finance professionals,” he added.

Separately, the statement noted that it will be adding fintech questions to the CFA level I and II exams next year. Included will be topics in financial application in investment management, machine learning and ethics cases within a fintech work setting.

Part of the Bonhill Group.