Is there still an advantage in Hong Kong's international financial center status?

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Is there still an advantage in Hong Kong's international financial center status?

2022-06-24 06:03:35 5 ℃

Economic Network |

"China Economic Weekly" reporter Zhang Yan

On March 24, 2022, the "31st Global Financial Center Index Report (GFCI 31)" jointly compiled by the National High -end Think Tank China (Shenzhen) Comprehensive Development Research Institute and the British Think Tank Z/YEN Group was officially released. Hong Kong's total ranking has maintained third place in the world. Since the return, under the strong support of the motherland's economy, under the impact of the Asian financial turmoil, the global economic crisis and the new crown pneumonia, Hong Kong's socioeconomic and economy showed strong toughness. The international competitiveness and global influence of the financial industry have not been affected by low economic growth, but have achieved leapfrog development. Hong Kong's core competitiveness and development foundation as an international financial center is still stable. In 25 years, Hong Kong's financial industry was developing. Bank deposits have increased from HK $ 1.6 trillion in 1997 to HK $ 7.5 trillion today, with a cumulative increase of 3.7 times; the total market value of the stock market has increased from 4.6 trillion Hong Kong dollars in 1997 to 38 trillion Hong Kong dollars, a cumulative increase of 7 times; Foreign exchange reserves increased from 80 billion US dollars in 1997 to $ 460 billion, an increase of 4.7 times ... In the media interview with the Hong Kong Financial Administration President, in the past 25 years Maintaining growth and more stable, it is also more important as a bridge role in connecting the mainland and the international market. Although the various changes or financial cycle evolution of large and small periods, the market has begun to fall, and even has different crises, but Hong Kong's financial systems "have maintained very stable and tough force."

How high the gold content of the international financial center is a pillar industry in Hong Kong. In 25 years, the financial system in Hong Kong has maintained stability and orderly operation. The key is to be strong "internal skills". In an exclusive interview with the reporter of China Economic Weekly, BOC Hong Kong Chief Economist E Zhihuan said that the Hong Kong Financial Center has lived in a leading position in the world for many years and cannot be separated from two pillars: First, the mainland and Hong Kong have continuously enhanced economic and trade contacts Second, Hong Kong's good business environment, simple low tax system, free capital port, judicial system in line with the West, high efficiency of financial supervision, and the most free economy. The organic combination of the two is a solid foundation of Hong Kong's long -term prosperity and stability of the economy and continuously improving the status of the international financial center. "The strong economic growth momentum and development opportunities in the Mainland are greatly attractive to overseas investors. More and more overseas funds hope to use the interconnection mechanism of Hong Kong and the Mainland to enter the Mainland capital market. On the other hand Extremely, effectively attracts a large number of overseas funds to be moored in Hong Kong to provide unlimited circulation for the financial market in Hong Kong. In addition, Hong Kong pursues the financial supervision concept of "Principle Based Supervision), and formulates principled guidance for the financial market operation. This regulatory concept of formulating operational rules by financial institutions has provided a loose operating environment for financial institutions, and it is also conducive to the innovation and development of the financial industry. "E Zhihuan said. In the view of Wang Xin, a global partner and president of Greater China, the establishment of the status of the Hong Kong international financial center is indispensable for its effective macroeconomic policy and a sound legal system. Help establishes a stable and strong financial system. First of all, in terms of economic policy and legal system, Hong Kong has the dual positioning that other international financial centers do not have, connecting financial infrastructure and market systems in Mainland China, London, New York and other financial centers. The world's most liberal economy. In addition to illegal acts such as money laundering and counter -terrorism, capital and information can be fully flowing and interactive in Hong Kong. This degree of freedom has made Hong Kong a regional and global capital residence and transit stations, connecting extensive economic and financial interests in different countries and regions, and Hong Kong's free Hong Kong and low tax policies have greatly strengthened this advantage. Secondly, as an important platform for global venture capital, Hong Kong's financial market attracted funds from all over the world with its openness, diversification, moderate supervision, and active transaction. International investors have carried out the equity investment and asset management business in the Greater Bay Area and the Mainland through the international financing platform of Hong Kong, which is conducive to sucking overseas funds outside the traditional bank financing channels. Hong Kong has provided an important channel for international capital to enter the Chinese market, which is of great significance to attract global funds to actively participate in my country's independent innovation of science and technology, stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, and unblock domestic and international cycles. "Hong Kong's unique position as an international financial center is the result of long -term system construction and evolution. Its core competitiveness is to efficiently connect the Chinese market by providing world -class software and hardware infrastructure and open, transparent, and secure business environment to efficiently connect the Chinese market. With the global business network. "Wang Xin told the reporter of" China Economic Weekly "that Hong Kong is an important bridge for multinational companies to deeply cultivate the mainland market in China, and it is also an ideal platform for Chinese companies to" go global "to open up the international market. In recent years, with the rise of trade protectionism, the impact of the epidemic of new crown pneumonia, global economic and trade activities are facing impact. In the context of tight geopolitical situations and increased global economic development uncertainty, Hong Kong's international financial center status is even more important. Essence "The functional positioning of the international financial center is an important entry point for Hong Kong to integrate the country's development, and it is also the biggest manifestation of Hong Kong's value to the development of the country." E Zhihuan said that during the "14th Five -Year Plan" period, the Chinese financial industry entered a new era of open leadership. Hong Kong has become the main channel of the Mainland financial market to foreign Unicom, providing a variety of choices for interconnection. "For a long time, the Chinese economy has accelerated the development concept of development, coordination, green, openness, and sharing, and 'Open' has a prominent position among the five development concepts. Hong Kong's functional positioning is closely related to the above new development concepts, especially in China to open to the outside world to the outside world In the field, Hong Kong has played a positive and irreplaceable role for a long time. In terms of the opening of the financial market, the status of the international financial center established by Hong Kong has more unique advantages after a long -term efforts. "E Zhihuan said. Faced with increasingly complex external risks, Hong Kong has been affected as a free Hong Kong, and its international financial center status has also been challenged. Wang Xin analyzed that on the one hand, the Hong Kong financial system is facing more complex external risks and challenges. On the other hand, within Hong Kong, there are also problems such as insufficient upward liquidity and industrialization of young people. Therefore, the depth and breadth of developing the application of the financial industry to better inject the development of development for the real economy will be one of the important measures in Hong Kong as an international financial center to welcome risks and challenges in the future.

The level of financial interconnection between the two places has continuously improved in the view of E Zhihuan, and the Hong Kong International Financial Center has gone through three important development stages. First, in the 1970s, the opportunity to open Western financial globalization to open the market, and initially established a regional financial center with the Asian time zone as the foundation. In the 1990s, the wave of financial reform and opening up in the Mainland realized the transformation and upgrading of the financial center and expanded to the international field. Third, after entering the 21st century, Hong Kong took the internationalization of the RMB to the RMB offshore financial center as an opportunity to accelerate development. Become the premier international financial center in Asia. "Hong Kong has seized the historical opportunity of RMB internationalization, and rapidly developed into a truly international financial center. The offshore RMB business has become a new engine for the development of the Hong Kong International Financial Center." It is said that in the past ten years, Hong Kong's offshore RMB business has made great progress, the RMB funds pool has continued to accumulate, the transaction activities have become increasingly active, product selection has become increasingly rich, and the virtuous cycle from demand to supply to demand has gradually been formed. The development of markets such as foreign exchange transactions and derivative products in Hong Kong. In 2003, the People's Bank of China appointed BOC Hong Kong as the first offshore RMB clearing bank, and the Hong Kong offshore RMB market began to officially start. In 2011, the "RMB qualified foreign institutional investor" (RQFII) plan was officially implemented. In terms of design concepts and development models in the Hong Kong offshore RMB market, from the early one -way cash back to the Mainland The pioneers and central hubs that have developed RMB products and the widespread use of renminbi in the world. In recent years, with the settlement of cross -border RMB trade, the opening of direct investment, and more widely used cross -border investment in RMB, Hong Kong's offshore RMB business has been leading markets around the world and is responsible for the role of offshore RMB business hubs. At present, Hong Kong has the world's largest offshore RMB capital pool, with more than 800 billion yuan, providing liquidity support for global RMB business. The RMB exchange agreement signed by the Hong Kong Financial Administration and the People's Bank of China reached 500 billion yuan, the largest in the world. From the perspective of traffic, offshore RMB transactions have also remained active. Hong Kong's RMB payment system supports various cross -border and offshore RMB transactions, and the current average daily settlement exceeds 1.5 trillion yuan. Swift data shows that more than 75%of the world's offshore RMB payment activities are carried out through Hong Kong. "The National 'Fourteenth Five -Year Plan clearly supports Hong Kong to strengthen the global offshore RMB business hub, deepen the interconnection of the two places, and clearly propose the direction of open markets and cautiously promote the internationalization of RMB. Under the favorable policy, plus overseas overseas Investors' demand for RMB assets has risen, and the Hong Kong offshore RMB market still has huge space development. "Yu Weiwen, president of the Hong Kong Financial Administration, said in an interview with the media recently. In addition, in 1997, the total annual issuance of the Hong Kong bond market was less than $ 20 billion. By 2021, this number had risen to $ 400 billion, a cumulative increase of nearly 20 times. "In everyone's impression, what is not well developed in Hong Kong is the debt market, but I often encourage everyone to see the numbers." Yu Weifeen quoted the report from the International Capital Market Association (ICAM) that international bonds issued in Asia, Hong Kong, Hong Kong The market share of 34%has stabilized, higher than the United States (22%), Britain (17%) and Singapore (5%). The development of Hong Kong offshore RMB bonds and green bonds has also been good in recent years. In Yu Wei's view, the development of the Hong Kong bond market today is inseparable from the interconnection with the capital market in the Mainland. In recent years, with the launch and rapid development of the "Shanghai -Hong Kong Stock Connect", "Shenzhen -Hong Kong Stock Connect" and "Bond Connect", the scale of transactions has increased day by day. Taking stocks as an example, in 2014 and 2016, Shanghai -Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen -Hong Kong Stock Connect were officially opened. At that time, the average daily transaction amount was only 5.6 billion yuan and 1.6 billion yuan. In 2021, the average daily transaction amount of Shanghai -Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen -Hong Kong Stock Connect had climbed to 55.3 billion yuan and 65 billion yuan, and the increase reached 9 respectively. Times and 40 times. The growth of bonds is equally happy. In 2017, the average daily turnover of bonds was 2.2 billion yuan. Today, this number has risen 11 times, which has increased to 26 billion yuan in 2021. Yu Weiwen said that the development of bonds was slow in the early days of development, but referring to the experience of interconnection through each other. I believe that in the next few years, it will be a major development trend, and the relevant transaction volume is expected to increase slowly. "Compared with the stock market, the Hong Kong bond market is developing slowly. On the one hand, under the current Hong Kong dollar contact rate system, local large companies are more willing to choose to raise funds in the US dollar bond market. Public bonds need to be issued, and it is difficult to form a bond market without risk pricing benchmark. "E Zhihuan said.

The total market value of mainland companies accounted for 70 % of Hong Kong stocks in July 1993. The first mainland company "Tsingtao Beer" was listed in Hong Kong. Since then, the prelude to the listing of mainland companies in Hong Kong. Historical data show that before the return of Hong Kong, the number of listed companies in Hong Kong in Hong Kong was less than 100. In October 1997, China Mobile landed in the Hong Kong market, raised as high as HK $ 32.363 billion, becoming the first single IPO after the return of Hong Kong. At that time, there were 658 listed companies in Hong Kong, and mainland companies accounted for less than 15%. In 2003, the Mainland and Hong Kong signed the "Arrangement of the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macau on the establishment of closer economic and trade relations" (referred to as "CEPA") to support the cooperation between the two parties to further strengthen their cooperation in the field of banks, securities and insurance. CEPA opened the policy of "the door" for the cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and at the same time accelerated the pace of mainland companies to go public in Hong Kong. Over the past 25 years, the Hong Kong stock market has gradually developed into one of the important options for the allocation of overseas asset allocation with mainland investors and financial institutions. Statistics show that as of April 2022, there were 1,370 listed companies in Hong Kong in Hong Kong, accounting for 53.3%of the total number of listed companies in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and 77.7%of the total market value of Hong Kong stocks. From the perspective of E Zhihuan, a large number of high -quality companies in the Mainland go to Hong Kong to go public, on the one hand, can make full use of the Hong Kong market's liquidity to attract overseas capital, on the other hand, it also helps the rapid improvement of the fundraising function of Hong Kong's financial market, and promotes Hong Kong to become mainland companies "The preferred overseas fundraising center". The following sets of numbers may be more able to show the prosperity of the Hong Kong stock market over the years: at the end of 1997, the total market value of Hong Kong stocks was HK $ 3.2 trillion. In 2021, this number increased to HK $ 58.6 trillion. The average daily turnover of Hong Kong stocks has increased by nearly 10 years, and has increased from HK $ 15.465 billion in 1997 to HK $ 166.73 billion in 2021. Since 2009, Hong Kong has occupied the top of the global IPO funding for seven consecutive years. E Zhihuan said that Hong Kong's new shares' listing fundraising has won the world's leading position and the rapid expansion of the stock market. It is the direct result of the continuous enhancement of the economic and trade connection between the Mainland and Hong Kong, and further proves the unique advantages of Hong Kong in the financial market infrastructure. As mainland companies have landed in Hong Kong stocks, enterprises have obtained development funds, and they have inject vitality into the Hong Kong economy, forming a good development situation of cooperative and complementary capital markets between the two places, and consolidating and improving the status of Hong Kong's international financial center. If the launch of the H -shares is the first change made by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to welcome the listing of mainland companies to go public in Hong Kong, then it is allowed to be listed in Hong Kong with different revenue biotechnology companies and new economic companies with different voting rights. Forced the maximum reform made since the establishment of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. With the rapid development of Internet technology in the Mainland, new economic companies represented by technology and the Internet began to flourish. At that time, the rules of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange did not allow such companies to go public in Hong Kong. After missing Internet companies such as Ali, the Hong Kong Fair carried out the reform system in 2018 and added three chapters in the listing rules. A large number of new economic companies in the Mainland opened their doors. According to the incomplete statistics of the China Economic Weekly reporter, in the following four years (from the end of April 2018 to the end of April 2022), the Hong Kong Stock Exchange ushered in a total of 128 new economic companies, including 28 biotechnology companies and 10 second listed companies. The total amount of financing reached 553.7 billion Hong Kong dollars. At present, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has become the internationally leading financing market and the world's second largest biotechnology financing center. At the end of 2021, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange once again announced the introduction of new rules and set up a new special purpose acquisition company (Spac) listing mechanism. As of now, two shells have been successfully listed in Hong Kong stocks. At the same time, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange also optimized the second listing system, so as to absorb more Chinese stocks that return from overseas, and give greater flexibility to the issuers with dual major listing. The industry predicts that the Hong Kong capital market will usher in the tide of retreat from the second half of this year to next year. Wang Xin told the reporter of China Economic Weekly that in the next few years, the Hong Kong capital market will still maintain its attraction for mainland companies for a long time. On the one hand, the financial market infrastructure of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is complete and has high information transparency, and the back of the motherland also makes mainland Chinese companies more inclined to listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; on the other hand, multinational companies that attach importance to the mainland market in China often will often Asia Pacific The regional headquarters in Hong Kong has prompted Hong Kong to become a more open and more active international financial center. "For many years, Hong Kong has unique advantages in overseas financing and offshore RMB business in Chinese companies. This advantage is based on the close economic and trade exchanges and geographical relationships between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Change between. "Wang Xin said. In May 2000, the development of fintech development entered the fast lane. The Hong Kong HKMA issued the "Approval of the Virtual Bank" industry guidance and proposed for the first time not to oppose the establishment of a virtual bank in Hong Kong. In the past ten years, this incident was like Shi Shenhai, and it did not set off any waves in the Hong Kong financial industry. It was not until 2018 that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority again released the "Acknowledge of Virtual Banks" to guide the revision book, and the virtual bank was put on the agenda again.

In March 2019, Livi VB Limited, Scotal Solutions Limited, Hezhongan Virtual Financial Co., Ltd. won the first batch of virtual bank licenses. At this time, it was first proposed from the virtual bank that 19 years have passed. As an international financial center, the Hong Kong financial system has always been known for its prudential and stability, but it has also been criticized for backward and old, especially at the level of fintech development. In 2004, mainland netizens have begun to use Alipay, and mobile payment has not officially started in Hong Kong until 2015. Despite losing the starting line, in the development of recent years, Hong Kong Fintech is trying to catch up with this wave. "Compared with the Mainland, the start of Hong Kong's fintech is indeed a bit later. Basically, in 2016, it was led by the government and comprehensively launched the related work of fintech development." "China Economic Weekly" reporter said in an exclusive interview. At the beginning of 2016, the Hong Kong HKMA established the Fintech Promotion Office to coordinate the development of the financial technology industry in coordinating relevant departments and promote fintech products. The Hong Kong Investment Promotion Department also set up a fintech specialty group at the same time to launch the global Fast Track program for several consecutive years to provide comprehensive assistance to fintech companies to attract more fintech companies to settle in Hong Kong. According to Liang Hanzheng, over the past few years, the SAR Government has launched a series of fintech infrastructure and measures, and Hong Kong Fintech has achieved a number of milestone progress. For example, the launch of the "fast" fast payment system, the distribution of virtual banking licenses, the implementation of the banking industry open application interface, and the promotion of blockchain technology -based trade financing platform "trade linkage" and so on. As Hong Kong regulatory agencies actively attract financial technology investment into the market, the popularization rate of financial technology in the local financial community has also risen. A survey released by the Hong Kong HKMA in 2020 shows that 35 % to 56 % of banks regard financial technology as development opportunities, and 86 % of banks are gradually incorporated fintech into various financial businesses. After five years of development, there are currently more than 600 fintech companies and startups in Hong Kong, becoming one of the first choice cities for the rapid expansion of global startups, and one of the markets with the highest penetration rate of consumers. The "Global Financial Technology Adaptation Index" report released by Ernst & Young in 2019 shows that consumer fintech adoption rate in Mainland China is 87%, ranking first in the world. Hong Kong's fintech admission rate index reached 67%, much higher than that of developed economies such as France, the United States and Japan. "In the Global Financial Center Index reported earlier this year, the Hong Kong Financial Center ranks third in the world, and the ranking of the Financial Technology Center is the eighth in the world. Compared with the global economy, we have done a good job. But in the future There is still a lot of room for enhancement. I hope that through the level of continuous development of Hong Kong fintech, it will better enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial center. "Liang Hanyu said. Unlike other countries and regions in the world, Hong Kong, as a financial economy as a leading industry, has only more than 7 million people, but has more than 160 banks, more than 160 insurance companies, more than 800 securities companies, and hundreds of insurance agency. For financial institutions with 2B as the main business, it is tantamount to a natural financial market. In addition, Hong Kong's unique geographical advantages allow fintech companies to connect the world's largest and fastest growth and providing long -term development opportunities in Mainland China and Southeast Asian markets. In recent years, more and more overseas fintech companies hope to enter the city of the Greater Bay Area with Hong Kong as a springboard. "There are many financial institutions that do cross -border payment in Hong Kong. The reason why choosing to land in Hong Kong is to see a connection relationship such as Hong Kong and the Mainland. In the process, fintech played a role in the bond. On the other hand, many mainland companies go out, and on the other hand, Hong Kong's fintech has more room for development and progress. "Liang Hanzheng said. The reporter learned that in the past two years, although the new crown pneumonia's epidemic has had a certain impact on the Hong Kong economy, it has also accelerated the promotion and application of fintech to a certain extent. Since the Hong Kong Financial Authority launched the "fast turn" in September 2018, to the fourth quarter of last year, the number of registrations has reached 9.6 million, and the transaction volume has also increased by nearly 10 times compared to 2018. Responsible editor | Yang Lin

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