FSDC sees bigger role for Hong Kong in helping Chinese firms go global

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 1:31am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 1:31am

The Financial Services Development Council will study how Hong Kong professionals and the market could better serve mainland companies expanding into international markets, the South China Morning Post was told.

Council chairwoman Laura Cha Shih May-lung said mainland firms now directly invested in overseas markets through western investment banks.

"In fact, these mainland companies can use the platform and professionals of Hong Kong to better help their 'going out' strategy. Many Hong Kong accountants and lawyers know the Chinese culture and language while they also have the international network and experience," Cha said.

The FSDC is the highest level government advisory body.

Another major area of study, Cha said, would be how to encourage more funds to domicile in Hong Kong to create more job opportunities for the local fund industry.

The council would work on a report outlining what role Hong Kong could play when mainland firms expand internationally.

"The council's major target this year would be doing more promotion work overseas. Many stakeholders told us that Hong Kong has not done as well in marketing its financial services as Singapore. The FSDC this year would put more focus on promotion to let more overseas markets know our services and products," Cha said.

The council was set up in January last year by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to promote the city's financial industry. It will join the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on a roadshow in Paris in October - the same month the through train scheme will begin which will allow Hong Kong and mainland retail investors to cross-trade stocks listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Cha believes the scheme would boost the competitiveness of the Hong Kong stock market and strengthen the city as a leading yuan trading centre because it would require overseas and Hong Kong investors to use the yuan to trade mainland stocks.

Hong Kong regulators have urged Beijing to lift the yuan daily exchange cap of 20,000 yuan a day that applies to Hong Kong residents. "I hope the cap would be removed … to encourage investors to use the yuan to invest."