Hong Kong sets sights on becoming IPO hub and attracting family offices

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Hong Kong sets sights on becoming IPO hub and attracting family offices
Credit: © Reuters.

The Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit, hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), concluded on Tuesday with a strong focus on the city's future as a global financial hub. The summit, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, brought together 300 leaders from 160 international financial institutions, including 90 top executives.

The main session themed "Living with Complexity" tackled key industry challenges such as uncertain inflation, global growth obstacles, monetary tightening, and the shifting investment landscape. The summit also spotlighted long-term trends including the Chinese economy, technology, and sustainability. The event culminated with the “Conversations with Global Investors” forum.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu highlighted promising developments for the city's financial markets and its central role in global business and finance. He also underscored its deepening ties with mainland China and the Greater Bay Area. A key initiative he mentioned was Hong Kong's investment-migration program aimed at attracting 200 new family offices by 2025.

Despite Hong Kong's ninth-place global ranking in listings, with only 42 companies listed in the first nine months of this year, Wang Jianjun, Vice-chairman at China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), pledged comprehensive support for initiatives that boost Hong Kong's capital market. He announced plans to promote Hong Kong as an initial public offering (IPO) hub and to make it easier for mainland enterprises to list in Hong Kong.

Wang also revealed plans to expand cross-border stock trading via the stock connect and introduce block trading to expedite transactions. The CSRC plans to launch government bond options in Hong Kong and support the newly introduced yuan shares counter by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX). These yuan-denominated shares, with a combined market capitalization of HK$12 trillion, would be available for trade by mainlanders via the stock connect in the future.

Chinese Vice-Premier He Lifeng emphasized Hong Kong's crucial role as a bridge between China and the world. In his closing remarks, he encouraged industry leaders to participate in in-depth discussions and provide solutions to the complex global macro situation.

Despite current complexities and uncertainties, including two major financial crises handled before, HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue Wai-man expressed optimism about finding opportunities amidst challenges. He also celebrated HKMA's 30th anniversary and acknowledged Hong Kong's rise as a global finance hub.

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