New advisory body aims to promote financial services

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 January, 2013, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 7:35pm

Newly-appointed head of the Financial Services Development Council Laura Cha Shih May-lung said on Friday the advisory body would not be interfering in areas traditionally handled by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

“The [authority] does promotional work too. But we are not a government body,” she explained.

“We are not saying [the HKMA] is not doing a proper job. The council is different and the [financial services] sector not only has securities and banking business. We also have to look at insurance, fund management, private equity and hedge funds, as well as non-traditional investments,” Cha said.

The 22-member body will include 12 people from the local industry, five from the mainland and five from other countries.

“Hong Kong’s financial sector relies on resources of the mainland ... especially when we are talking about how Hong Kong can benefit from the internationalisation of renminbi,” Cha told local radio.

“The composition of the council reflects the mix of the Hong Kong market which includes local, foreign and mainland elements.”

Among the mainland appointees is Levin Zhu, chief executive of China International Capital Corp (CICC) - China’s No 1 investment bank - and son of former premier Zhu Rongji.

Others include Chen Shuang, chief executive of China Everbright, Qin Xiao, former chairman of China Merchants Group and Tse Yung-hoi, deputy chief executive of Bank of China International.

Cha said her first priority would be to set up four theme-based committees to kick-start policy research on regulations, market and product expansion, mainland opportunities and talent attainment and professional training.

She also denied there would be any overlap with other promotional bodies such as InvestHK or the, Trade Development Council, because her council focused on the financial sector.

She compared it with the City of London Corporation, London’s financial services promotion body.