August 9, 2022

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Hong Kong’s top finance executives bank on city to thrive as gateway to China

By Selena Li, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu

HONG KONG, June 27 (Reuters)In 1997, the globe watched as Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule, with some pessimistic or cautious about the outlook for the city and its role in the global monetary program.

Twenty-five years later, Hong Kong has so far retained its position as a monetary hub, and some of the city’s prime executives are banking on a vibrant potential as the territory continues to be a important springboard for investment decision into mainland China.

Charles Li, previous chief government of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK and founder of microfinance platform Micro Connect, stated that though he believes the next 25 a long time will be “quite unique”, he is optimistic.

“I’m confident that the total prosperity of Hong Kong will continue being as solid as right before because Hong Kong retains its benefit to each sides,” Li told Reuters, referring to China and the West.

When he celebrated the handover with good friends more than two many years back in the city’s bustling nightlife district of Lan Kwai Fong, Li claimed numerous people today saw it as the “beginning of a really lengthy journey, and the ideal is but to occur.”

On Friday, Hong Kong reaches the halfway mark of a 50-yr experiment intended to give the town a substantial diploma of autonomy under Chinese rule.

Critics of the government say political and civil liberties have been massively curtailed, in particular because the introduction of a national safety legislation in 2020.

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The finance sector has thrived since the handover. The benefit of Hong Kong’s inventory industry has surged to HK$27.65 trillion ($3.52 trillion) as of conclude-June, up from HK$3.2 trillion in 1997 and world investors have become progressively reliant on Hong Kong to trade mainland shares.

Turnover on the Hong Kong-Shanghai stock link pipeline – which delivers accessibility to closely controlled mainland funds – jumped to 46.5 billion yuan on June 22, up from 12.8 billion yuan when it released in 2014, in accordance to facts from HKEX.

On the Hong Kong-Shenzhen stock hook up channel, turnover stands at about 58 billion yuan, up from 2.7 billion yuan at its start in 2016.

‘INDISPENSABLE’

Although uncertainty clouds the outlook for political and civil liberties less than electoral variations and the sweeping countrywide stability law, other enterprise executives say Hong Kong’s standing as a economic hub will remain intact.

Some organization foyer groups and diplomats have expressed problem above the outlook for Hong Kong, provided an exodus of talent and problems above the rule of legislation and judicial independence.

“Hong Kong will continue to be indispensable, (and) also the most aggressive gateway amongst China and the relaxation of the earth,” Fred Hu, founder and chairman of private fairness team Primavera, told Reuters. “I don’t feel any mainland city, which includes some towns I like, will bypass Hong Kong.”

The town has contended for some of the world’s best first community offerings in current several years, together with Alibaba, the New York-detailed e-commerce titan, which journeyed to Hong Kong to increase $13 billion in a secondary listing in November 2019.

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Hong Kong has been the world’s leading inventory trade by IPO price 7 situations considering that the handover, most just lately in 2019, when 146 providers lifted a overall of $40 billion on the primary board, according to Dealogic data.

In a shift that authorities say underscores the value China attaches to Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping will go to the swearing in of the city’s new leader, John Lee, on Friday as properly as celebrations to mark the handover.

“I imagine the central government’s intention towards Hong Kong is benign. They don’t want to mess up Hong Kong,” Hu said.

A former stability chief who is sanctioned by the United States, Lee will be intently viewed by a economic industry eager to get back on monitor just after crippling COVID-19 limits that have activated an exodus of people and viewed the border with mainland China mostly closed for two several years.

David Chin, UBS’ UBSG.S head of expenditure banking for Asia-Pacific, is optimistic on Hong Kong’s outlook, despite the fact that he states China’s position on the international phase is important.

“Hong Kong is also the global gateway for China,” he stated. “So the overseas relationship, how China interacts with the rest of the planet, is also pretty crucial for Hong Kong.”

($1 = 7.8490 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting By Selena Li, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu Writing by Anne Marie Roantree Editing by Gerry Doyle)

(([email protected] +852 97387151 Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and viewpoints of the writer and do not always replicate individuals of Nasdaq, Inc.

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