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Foreign investors choose London over New York

London has been named the world's most influential city as it attracts more than double the amount of foreign direct investment deals than New York, a new study shows.

London is the "preferred domicile for the global rich", is better connected for air travel and is also time zone advantaged for doing business with Asia, according to Forbes.

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London skyline
Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images
London skyline

London pipped New York to the post by just two points, losing out on air connectivity, which looks at the percentage of other global locations outside of its local region a city can reach nonstop a minimum of three times a week.

This year marked a significant increase in the number of firms arriving from the U.S. and China seeking access to European markets, according to the Mayor of London's promotional company for the capital London & Partners.

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"London has recently seen a major increase in the number of international companies making new investments in the capital," Gordon Innes, London & Partners CEO said.

The group said it had helped 260 international companies establish their businesses in London in the 2013/14 financial year, 16 percent more than the 224 companies assisted in 2012/13.

London also took the edge in the technology stakes, as the capital has become Europe's "top technology startup center" and is home to Google's largest office outside of Silicon Valley, according to Forbes report author Joel Kotkin.

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"London is not only the historic capital of the English language, which contributes to its status as a powerful media hub and major advertising center, but it's also the birthplace of the cultural, legal and business practices that define global capitalism," he said.

"Beyond these traditional strengths, London has become Europe's top technology startup center, according to the Startup Genome project. The city has upward of 3,000 tech startups," he added.

Forbes also looked at the concentration of corporate headquarters, technology and media power when making their decision.

Paris was ranked in third position after London and New York, but Kotkin said the French capital was still way below the two leading cities on "virtually every critical measure".

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"Rather than a true indication of global reach, Paris' high ranking is partly the product of the city's utter domination of the still sizable French economy and the concentration of virtually all the country's leading companies there," he said.

In the future, East Asia is likely to offer the main challengers, with Tokyo named the world's largest city. Singapore, placed in fourth position, lays claim to some of the best basic infrastructure "on the planet".

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave

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