Published: 21:11, June 21, 2022 | Updated: 21:14, June 21, 2022
HKEX keeps serving as bridge linking mainland, global markets
By Ao Yulu in Hong Kong

A security officer wearing a protective mask stands behind a door next to signage for Hong Kong Exchanges AND Clearing Ltd at the Exchange Square complex in Hong Kong, Aug 19, 2020. (ROY LIU / BLOOMBERG)

Hong Kong has seen huge growth in the financial sector and become a leading global fundraising center over the past two decades since the founding of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd in 2000, officials and industry pundits said on Tuesday.

“We are now one of the world’s leading international initial public offering destinations for new-economy and biotech companies, fueling the growth of the businesses that will shape the next 22 years and beyond,” HKEX Chairman Laura Cha Shih May-lung said.

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According to HKEX data, the number of its listed companies has increased to 2,565 as of May, up from 790 in 2000, while the total market capitalization of listed companies grow to HK$37.88 trillion ($4.83 trillion) compared with HK$4.86 trillion 22 years ago.

HKEX, together with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government, builds on Hong Kong’s singular advantages under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive, HKSAR

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that HKEX plays a pivotal role in fostering the internationalization of Hong Kong’s financial center.

“HKEX, together with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government, builds on Hong Kong’s singular advantages under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” she said. 

“The revamp of the Hong Kong listing regime in 2018 has realized outsized dividends, attracting new-economy companies with weighted voting rights as well as making Hong Kong Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest fundraising hub for biotechnology.”

Lam also said various mutual market access initiatives that have been launched with the support of the central government, such as the Cross-border Wealth Management Connect Scheme as well as the inclusion of exchange-traded funds into the Stock Connect, have thrived in recent years.

“Each of them has expanded mutual access between the financial markets of Hong Kong and the mainland, realizing fresh investment opportunities,” she said.

HKEX CEO Nicolas Aguzin said they envision the marketplace of the future as being supported by three pillars — connecting China and the world; connecting capital with opportunities; and connecting today with tomorrow.

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Aguzin stressed that HKEX will continue to be the bridge that connects China markets with international markets. “Headquartered in Hong Kong, we will use our unique skills, experience, and position to continue to facilitate capital flows between China and the world,” he said.

Contact the writer at aoyulu@chinadailyhk.com