New budget enhances Hong Kong's competitiveness as int'l financial center: HKEX-Xinhua

New budget enhances Hong Kong's competitiveness as int'l financial center: HKEX

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-29 00:27:15

HONG KONG, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) said on Wednesday that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has proposed a number of initiatives in the 2024-25 budget which will further enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial center.

When delivering the 2024-25 budget on Wednesday, Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, said that Hong Kong as an international financial center is having an edge in "quantity" and "quality" that enables various financial areas to thrive, and the HKSAR government is taking forward relevant work on various fronts to attract more businesses and funds.

Data showed that last year, Hong Kong was ranked number one, globally, in its investment environment. As for enterprise conditions, Hong Kong was tops in the Asia Pacific region and number two globally. According to an independent report, Hong Kong's size of foreign direct investment inflows was the world's fourth-largest. Total deposits in Hong Kong at the end of 2023 exceeded 16 trillion HK dollars (about 2.04 trillion U.S. dollars), up 5.1 percent year-on-year.

HKEX Chairperson Laura Cha Shih May-lung said that despite a complex and challenging external environment, HKEX will continue to leverage its unique strengths, to deepen and enhance mutual access with Mainland markets while strengthening international partnerships, as well as further investing in Hong Kong's market infrastructure.

HKEX looks forward to continuing to work closely with the HKSAR government and all stakeholders to further raise the attractiveness, resiliency and vibrancy of Hong Kong's international markets, she said.

HKEX Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Aguzin said that HKEX is committed to playing a key role in supporting the HKSAR government's plans to further develop Hong Kong's financial markets. Over the past year, HKEX has launched many important initiatives to enhance its listing franchise, modernize its market infrastructure, and to expand its product ecosystem. HKEX is developing more initiatives that will enhance liquidity and efficiency, making Hong Kong's markets even more attractive to issuers and investors.

The HKSAR government announced its decision to cut all property cooling measures in the latest budget. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said on Wednesday it has decided to adjust the countercyclical macroprudential measures for property mortgage loans and other related supervisory requirements.

HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue said that the HKMA has taken into account a number of factors for the adjustment of the relevant measures, including property prices and transaction volumes and the impact on the public in buying properties. Furthermore, given the U.S. rate hike cycle might be approaching an end, the probability of a further rise in mortgage interest rates in Hong Kong in the near future is relatively low.