May 30, 2024

Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan hails move by mainland China’s securities regulator to ease trading rules with city

Hong Kong’s finance chief has hailed a move by mainland China’s securities regulator to ease trading rules with the local capital market, saying it demonstrates Beijing’s support in further boosting the city’s status as an international finance centre.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po on Sunday also noted the China Securities Regulatory Commission would step up communication and coordination among government agencies to help more leading mainland companies list in Hong Kong.

“It will attract more international capital to Hong Kong, strengthening and enhancing the status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre,” Chan wrote in his weekly blog.

“This fully demonstrates the central government’s support for Hong Kong.”

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The commission on Friday announced five measures to further enhance connectivity between the mainland and Hong Kong capital markets.

Under the measures to boost financial integration and development, more mainland investors will be able to trade Hong Kong stocks while those in the city and overseas can trade eligible A-shares.

A-shares are those of mainland companies that are listed on either the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchanges. A-shares are generally only available to mainland citizens for trading.

Implementation details of the new measures are being worked out by the mainland and Hong Kong stock exchanges and clearing houses, under the guidance of the securities regulators of the two jurisdictions.

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In his Sunday blog post, Chan also said he had learned during a trip to mainland cities Hangzhou and Suzhou last week that many companies had applied to list in Hong Kong, or were planning to do so.

Chan paid a three-day visit to the two cities to explore opportunities for closer cooperation.

The financial secretary said he believed Hong Kong could offer high-quality professional services to help businesses in the two cities expand their international operations.

He also said he had visited many private enterprises specialising in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and new energy technologies.

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These companies liked Hong Kong for its institutional advantages, including intellectual property protection and internationalisation, as well as the synergy with other Greater Bay Area cities, he added.

“They hope to use Hong Kong as their preferred springboard and platform to enter the international market, including establishing treasury centres and even international headquarters in Hong Kong,” Chan said.

The bay area is Beijing’s plan to integrate Hong Kong, Macau and nine neighbouring cities in Guangdong province into an economic powerhouse.

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