Hong Kong’s top finance executives bank on city to thrive as gateway to China


By Selena Li, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu

HONG KONG, June 27 (Reuters)In 1997, the planet viewed as Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule, with some pessimistic or wary about the outlook for the town and its job in the world wide financial method.

20-5 many years later on, Hong Kong has so significantly retained its position as a fiscal hub, and some of the city’s top rated executives are banking on a dazzling long term as the territory remains a essential springboard for investment decision into mainland China.

Charles Li, former chief executive of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK and founder of microfinance platform Micro Link, claimed that although he believes the upcoming 25 yrs will be “really various”, he’s optimistic.

“I am confident that the all round prosperity of Hong Kong will keep on being as powerful as right before mainly because Hong Kong retains its benefit to equally sides,” Li advised Reuters, referring to China and the West.

When he celebrated the handover with close friends more than two many years ago in the city’s bustling nightlife district of Lan Kwai Fong, Li said quite a few people today saw it as the “beginning of a extremely very long journey, and the ideal is yet to appear.”

On Friday, Hong Kong reaches the midway mark of a 50-year experiment made to give the city a substantial degree of autonomy below Chinese rule.

Critics of the government say political and civil liberties have been vastly curtailed, especially considering the fact that the introduction of a nationwide security law in 2020.

The finance sector has thrived because the handover. The price of Hong Kong’s stock sector has surged to HK$27.65 trillion ($3.52 trillion) as of end-June, up from HK$3.2 trillion in 1997 and world-wide investors have turn into more and more reliant on Hong Kong to trade mainland stocks.

Turnover on the Hong Kong-Shanghai stock connect pipeline – which delivers access to carefully managed mainland capital – jumped to 46.5 billion yuan on June 22, up from 12.8 billion yuan when it released in 2014, in accordance to information from HKEX.

On the Hong Kong-Shenzhen inventory link channel, turnover stands at about 58 billion yuan, up from 2.7 billion yuan at its launch in 2016.


Though uncertainty clouds the outlook for political and civil liberties less than electoral changes and the sweeping countrywide security legislation, other business executives say Hong Kong’s standing as a money hub will keep intact.

Some business enterprise foyer teams and diplomats have expressed concern in excess of the outlook for Hong Kong, offered an exodus of talent and anxieties in excess of the rule of law and judicial independence.

“Hong Kong will remain indispensable, (and) also the most aggressive gateway concerning China and the rest of the planet,” Fred Hu, founder and chairman of non-public fairness group Primavera, explained to Reuters. “I will not feel any mainland town, like some metropolitan areas I love, will bypass Hong Kong.”

The town has contended for some of the world’s best preliminary public choices in recent years, such as Alibaba, the New York-shown e-commerce titan, which journeyed to Hong Kong to raise $13 billion in a secondary listing in November 2019.

Hong Kong has been the world’s major stock exchange by IPO worth seven periods considering that the handover, most a short while ago in 2019, when 146 corporations lifted a overall of $40 billion on the most important board, in accordance to Dealogic info.

In a transfer that authorities say underscores the relevance China attaches to Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping will go to the swearing in of the city’s new leader, John Lee, on Friday as effectively as celebrations to mark the handover.

“I believe that the central government’s intention toward Hong Kong is benign. They really do not want to mess up Hong Kong,” Hu reported.

A previous stability chief who is sanctioned by the United States, Lee will be carefully viewed by a fiscal industry eager to get back on keep track of after crippling COVID-19 limitations that have triggered an exodus of persons and observed the border with mainland China largely closed for two a long time.

David Chin, UBS’ UBSG.S head of investment decision banking for Asia-Pacific, is optimistic on Hong Kong’s outlook, though he claims China’s part on the global phase is crucial.

“Hong Kong is also the worldwide gateway for China,” he said. “So the foreign marriage, how China interacts with the relaxation of the earth, is also extremely important for Hong Kong.”

($1 = 7.8490 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting By Selena Li, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu Composing by Anne Marie Roantree Modifying by Gerry Doyle)

(([email protected] +852 97387151 Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The sights and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the creator and do not essentially mirror these of Nasdaq, Inc.

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