Greater Bay wealth link launch readied

Top News | Avery Chen 11 Nov 2019

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Henry Lau hopes to launch the cross-boundary wealth-management connect scheme to enable Hongkongers and mainlanders in the Greater Bay Area to buy products in each other's market as soon as possible.

The scheme is among 16 policy measures spelled out by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor following a visit to Beijing.

Six of the measures focused on the financial industry, highlighting the importance of financial institutions to promoting the development of the Greater Bay Area, Lau wrote on a blog post yesterday.

The six measures - of which three are related to the insurance sector - not only benefit people in the region but also boost cross-boundary capital flow and facilitate local insurers to expand mainland business, he wrote.

The central government supports efforts to establish a two-way wealth management connect scheme, Lau said.

Through the cross-border scheme, Hongkongers could invest in mainland wealth-management products, which will benefit Hongkongers who work and live in the mainland or often travel between the two areas.

On the other side, the new scheme will also enable mainlanders to purchase Hong Kong financial products, offering business opportunities to local financial institutions, Lau added.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, meanwhile, wrote on his blog that the new cross-boundary wealth-management connect scheme will also strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international financial center and global offshore renminbi business hub.

With more than 70 million people and with a GDP per capita reaching US$23,000 (HK$179,400), the Greater Bay Area is one of the most prosperous areas in China, Chan said. The new scheme is expected to attract many foreign wealth managers to set up businesses or increase investment in Hong Kong, given the city has a mature regulatory system and has accumulated much experience in cross-border financial connections, Chan said.

He added that the local financial market remains stable despite the social unrest in the past five months.

The Hang Seng Index basically traded in sync with external markets, Chan said, and the local banking system functions properly with abundant liquidity and a stable Hong Kong dollar exchange rate.

And the absence of any significant capital outflow shows that the social situation has not damaged investor confidence, Chan said.

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