Hong Kong bourse operator unveils multifunctional HKEX Connect Hall at site of trading hall
Hang Seng Index makes ‘red debut’ before dropping 1 per cent in early trade
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing unveiled the HKEX Connect Hall at Exchange Square on Tuesday, in a ceremony attended by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
Tuesday, the first trading day of the Year of the Dog, also recorded a “red debut”, with the Hang Seng Index opening at 31,165, 49 points above its previous close of 31,115.43, before losing more than 300 points, or 1 per cent, in early trade.
“Three months earlier, I attended the closing ceremony of the trading hall here. In less than four months, it has turned into the HKEX Connect Hall. This is very efficient,” Cheng said at the ceremony. “The connect hall has a double meaning, connecting all parties in the market while it also refers to the stock connect schemes between Hong Kong and the mainland,” she said.
The HKEX Connect Hall, with a floor area of 30,000 sq ft, is a multifunctional venue that will host companies’ listing ceremonies and other important market-related events. It has a 270-degree projection wall and a 19.5 metre long and 3 metre high LED wall. It also has a museum area that will tell the history of Hong Kong’s stock market, which started trading in 1891.
The connect hall has been built on the location of the former trading hall of the exchange, which was demolished in October, as few brokers used the floor, with most having moved their trading terminals to offices after trading went electronic. The property is owned by the government and is leased to HKEX.
The bourse operator’s chairman, Chow Chung-kong, said the stock market had been good last year but said volatility lay ahead. “The stock market has been volatile over the past two weeks. Investors need to take care about risk management while they are busy making money,” Chow said.
Charles Li Xiaojia, the HKEX chief executive, said the new venue will be used to host events for a fee as well as for free, depending the nature of the event. It also has roadshow and dinning facilities.
“First, there will be a biotech forum next month, in the HKEX Connect Hall, to mark a new chapter for listing rules for biotech companies,” Li said.
Tuesday’s Lunar New Year ceremony was the first hosted by Chow and Li without a trading hall, but hundreds of brokers were present to mark the first trading day of the Year of the Dog.
The market is waiting on the HSBC and Hang Seng Bank earnings results, which are due during the lunch break and are expected to be good.
The Hang Seng Index rose by 7,755 points, or 33 per cent, during the Year of the Rooster, its best performance since the Year of the Ox in 2009. This was also the index’s best Year of the Rooster performance since 1993, when it soared by 95 per cent.