Hong Kong kicks off a hectic November to reclaim city’s brand in capital markets and global business
- Nearly 200 bankers and financiers are scheduled to attend the three-day Global Financial Leaders’ Summit from Nov 1 through 3
- The Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s International Healthcare Week will take place after the bankers’ summit
Hong Kong’s gradual return to normality will be on display when financial officials host the city’s biggest gathering of global banking heavyweights in three years.
More importantly, the factors that buttress Hong Kong’s status as the world’s fourth-largest capital market remain intact: a common law legal system and a fully convertible currency within the second-largest economy on the planet.
Officials including the Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po and the HKMA’s chief executive Eddie Yue Wai-man will also remind attendees of some of the policies that underscore Hong Kong unique strengths: its role as the ‘super connector’ between mainland China and the world, the city’s status as the trading hub for offshore yuan, a robust pipeline of initial public offerings (IPOs), a wider transborder Connect investment channel with the mainland, progress in fintech and sustainable finance.
“It will be one of the largest in-person congregations of financial leaders in the world since the start of the pandemic,” said Standard Chartered’s chief executive Bill Winters, one of the attendees of the summit, in a written response to South China Morning Post. “The exceptional line-up of speakers and participants at the summit reaffirms the status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre and her position as a gateway to the Greater Bay Area and China.”
A raft of policies were unveiled this year to affirm Hong Kong’s role as China’s global financial centre. The city made up 60 per cent of the 1.54 trillion yuan (US$211 billion) of deposits in all offshore markets last year, far surpassing Taiwan, Singapore and the UK, said Credit Agricole’s head of Asia-Pacific credit Alan Roch.
Hong Kong is in a particularly advantageous position to serve as the hub for family offices and wealth management in southern China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA), which counts Hong Kong among its 11 urban centres, with a combined population of 86 million people.
“[Hong Kong is uniquely imbued] with a common law legal system and listing requirements, a beneficial position with access to the GBA, strong financial expertise and a large talent pool,” said Andrew McCaffery, the chief investment officer of asset management at Fidelity, one of the world’s largest money managers, with US$4.5 trillion of assets under management. “All of these factors facilitate investment flows between Hong Kong and mainland China.”
Hong Kong is the world’s second-largest market for biotech fundraising, with 53 listings through October, trailing only the Nasdaq market in New York.
“The global market sentiment also counts” as the dry spell in the IPO market hit every market from Hong Kong to New York and Europe for a variety of reasons, said John Lee Chen-kwok, vice-chairman and head of Greater China global banking at UBS. “The outlook for Hong Kong IPO markets will depend on the China macroeconomic development and its zero-Covid policy.”
“The Hong Kong government is a leading issuer in green bonds for the construction of green yield curve, and this can further develop Hong Kong as a green finance centre globally,” said Rhee Jung-ho, president and CEO of Mirae Asset Global Investments (HK).