Hong Kong is actively positioning itself as a prime hub for investment in sectors such as technology, healthcare, and green finance. The city is also aiming to become a conduit for investment flows to the Middle East, offering significant opportunities for international money managers. This message was conveyed by Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, during a keynote speech at the Global International Investors' Investment Summit.
"In a time of increasing complexity and uncertainty, Hong Kong presents a window of enormous investment opportunities with great potential returns," stated Chan, emphasizing the city's commitment to developing innovation and technology as a core engine of growth. He highlighted Hong Kong's vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem and its achievements in nurturing startups and attracting enterprises and talent.
Furthermore, Chan emphasized the investment potential in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sectors, revealing that the government has attracted numerous Chinese and international companies to issue green and sustainable debt in the city. In 2022, the issuance of such bonds and loans in Hong Kong increased by more than 40% year-on-year to reach $80.5 billion, accounting for a third of Asia's total.
Hong Kong as a Hub for Green Finance
Valerie Baudson, CEO of Amundi, shared a similar view, stating that Hong Kong has the potential to become a leading hub for green finance, particularly due to its proximity to mainland China and the robust regulatory framework in place for such investment products. The city is already making strides in green finance, and the development of the sector is expected to continue.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), in collaboration with the government and regulators, is working on a platform that will enable asset management companies to sell funds to retail investors. Additionally, HKEX will launch a digital initial public offering (IPO) platform, FINI, on November 22, aiming to shorten the time between listing pricing and the start of trade from the current five business days to just two.
Greater Bay Area Development
Chan also highlighted the opportunities offered by the Greater Bay Area development, which seeks to combine Hong Kong, Macau, and nine mainland cities into an economic powerhouse. This initiative opens up more investment prospects for fund managers interested in Hong Kong.
Despite ongoing global uncertainty and challenges related to geopolitical tensions, Hong Kong is expanding its outreach to other markets, seizing new opportunities presented by adverse conditions. The city is keen to capture investment opportunities, and it has been actively enhancing collaboration discussions in regions like the Middle East, further broadening its international footprint.
One notable development is Hong Kong's facilitation of investments into Saudi Arabia's economy through an exchange-traded fund (ETF) to be listed on HKEX. CSOP Asset Management, a Hong Kong venture owned by China Southern Asset Management, will launch the Saudi ETF, which will track the 50 largest shares listed on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange, including oil giant Aramco.
Eddie Yue Wai-man, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), emphasized that this year's summit aimed to provide global financiers with an accurate portrayal of Hong Kong's vibrancy and strengths. He believes that showcasing Hong Kong's strengths and capabilities to prominent international bankers and money managers will ultimately translate into investments and further establish Hong Kong as a preferred destination for international financial activities.
Yue anticipates that personal experiences and impressions gained during the summit will influence investment decisions, potentially leading organizations to choose Hong Kong as their Asia headquarters. Deutsche Bank held its board meeting in Hong Kong during the summit, illustrating Yue's efforts to attract global banks and financial firms to the city.
While the HKMA is contemplating whether to make the summit an annual event, it is also soliciting feedback from participants on the feasibility of hosting such a high-profile gathering each year. The initiative seeks to ensure that the financial industry remains engaged and informed about the opportunities and advantages that Hong Kong offers as a leading financial center.
By fLEXI tEAM