By Terry Flanagan

Hong Kong Attracts International Capital

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) has welcomed the publication of research reports by the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) that aim to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international financial center in Asia and enhance the further development of the local financial services industry.

HKEx noted the FSDC’s recommendations to develop a broader and deeper array of asset classes in the Hong Kong market and attract companies from different jurisdictions to list on Hong Kong’s stock exchange.

“We agree with the recommendations which validate our goal of transforming HKEx into a leading global vertically-integrated and multi-asset class exchange outlined in our strategic plan for 2013-2015 which was set out in the beginning of the year,” HKEx chief executive Charles Li said. “We look forward to collaborating with the FSDC to reinforce the position of Hong Kong as a premier international financial market.”

The FSDC research reports set out both macro and micro level recommendations for the consideration of the government and relevant regulators, with proposals ranging from those on the strategic direction for developing Hong Kong as an international financial center, to policy suggestions on removing impediments and fostering new business.

“The reports provide a framework of holistic strategies to further enhance Hong Kong as an international financial center amid keen competition worldwide,” said FSDC chairman Laura Cha. “The reports also propose concrete measures to support future development of Hong Kong’s financial services industry. We believe the recommendations are pragmatic and implementable, and hope that the Government will study them in detail.”

Besides developing its fixed income, currency and commodity businesses, HKEx has been working to attract more overseas companies to list in Hong Kong. In September this year, HKEx and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published a revised Joint Policy Statement (revised JPS) regarding the listing of overseas companies.

HKEx has also been striving to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as the premier offshore Renminbi (RMB) center. So far, 101 RMB-denominated products have listed on HKEx’s securities and derivatives markets. HKEx’s RMB Currency Futures product has seen steady growth since its introduction in September 2012, with open interest reaching a record high of 14,105 contracts, this month.

The development of a broader and deeper range of asset classes and product types will ensure that Hong Kong attracts new asset management flows and remains an attractive base for talent, all of which will increase the economic activities of the financial sector and its overall contribution to Hong Kong.

“The FSDC publications cover a broad range of initiatives which ensure that Hong Kong not only recognizes its strength as a global financial center, but also builds on its position in the face of global and regional competition,” said Philip Tye, chairman of AIMA Hong Kong. “Whilst Hong Kong is seen as a preeminent location for hedge funds in Asia, a holistic approach to taxation, regulation and environmental factors is important for the further development of the industry here in Hong Kong.”

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