China’s central banker Yi Gang to headline speeches by regulators at Hong Kong’s financial summit
- The PBOC’s chief Yi Gang will be joined by CBIRC vice-chairman Xiao Yuanqi and CSRC vice-chairman Fang Xinghai in giving recorded speeches at the financial summit
- The three-day event also includes Financial Secretary Paul Chan, HKMA CEO Eddie Yue Wai-man and top officers of global banks and funds
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu will deliver the keynote address to open the second day of the three-day summit. Wednesday is the first day open to the public.
Xi underscored the critical role of Hong Kong as he mapped out China’s direction over the next five years and beyond, and guaranteed full support for Hong Kong to develop its economy, improve people’s livelihoods and resolve “deep-seated conflicts” in its economic and social development.
The financial summit, with the theme “Navigating Beyond Uncertainty”, will be the biggest congregation of global financial heavyweights in Hong Kong since the Covid-19 pandemic drove the city into three years of quarantines and social-distancing.
A raft of policies were unveiled this year to affirm Hong Kong’s role as China’s global financial centre.
The status was given a boost in July during the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty, when the PBOC upgraded the city’s yuan settlement programme into a permanent arrangement and enlarged the allocation of the renminbi for the city to 800 billion yuan (US$110 billion).
The city made up 60 per cent of the 1.54 trillion yuan of deposits in all offshore markets last year, far surpassing Taiwan, Singapore and the UK, according to Credit Agricole’s head of Asia-Pacific credit Alan Roch.
In addition to the Chinese regulators, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) CEO Eddie Yue Wai-man and over 200 international and regional leaders from around 120 global financial institutions including banks, securities firms, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds, and insurers.
More than 40 of the institutions taking part in the summit are represented by their group chairmen or CEOs, according to HKMA.
Speaking to the press at Hong Kong’s airport, Chan said he hopes to attend the summit on Wednesday personally. In a late-night statement, local health authorities said Chan was deemed to be in a “recovery” stage with low transmissibility after undertaking a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on arrival, and is clear to attend the summit, although he would refrain from attending dining events.
Blackstone’s president, Jonathan Gray, and Citigroup’s CEO, Jane Fraser, both caught Covid-19 and had to stay away. The CEOs of Amundi, Barclays and the Capital Group also had to pull out before the summit began.
To top it all, Hong Kong is also bracing for topical cyclone Nalgae, which may develop into a typhoon overnight. A Signal 8 hoisted by the Observatory would temporarily shut the city’s banks, schools and businesses including transactions in the stock market to keep residents indoors.
Executives and senior management of top banks and money managers met HKMA officials at the authority’s headquarters on Tuesday for a closed-door meeting, kicking off the first day of the summit.
Those present at the meeting included Rob Kapito, president of BlackRock; William Conway Jr, co-founder, interim CEO and co-chairman of Carlyle Group; James Gorman, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley; David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Noel Quinn, group CEO of HSBC; Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered; Colm Kelleher, chairman of UBS Group; Axel Lehmann, chairman of Credit Suisse; Liu Jin, vice-chairman of Bank of China (Hong Kong); Emmanuel Roman, CEO and managing director of Pimco, and Filippo Gori, Asia-Pacific CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
Several senior Hong Kong government and financial executives took part in the meeting.
The financial leaders were to share their takes on the factors that buttress Hong Kong’s status as the world’s fourth-largest capital market and discuss where the city could feature in the future amid uncertainties emerging globally.
“It is really a great opportunity for us to reconnect physically with the world,” Yue told the Post last month.
“Global connectivity is extremely important. We want people to come and see Hong Kong, and after this event, we want them to have a very, very clear impression that Hong Kong is back.”