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Fri, May 16, 2008 - Page 10 News List

HK best conduit for foreign funds to tap PRC assets: official

AFP , WASHINGTON

Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury K.C. Chan (陳家強) called on foreign fund managers to leverage the financial center to tap the huge domestic savings of China.

Hong Kong is Asia’s leading wealth management center with 80 fund management houses in operation, including firms from the US, Britain and Switzerland.

“Fund managers can leverage Hong Kong’s unique strengths to tap the huge domestic savings of China,” Chan told a Washington forum on Wednesday.

In 2006, Hong Kong’s fund management business exceeded US$789 billion, with 60 percent coming from overseas investors, he said.

This is “a clear indication of how attractive we are to overseas fund managers to conduct asset management business,” he said.

Chan said that Hong Kong, which together with Macau are called special administrative regions of China, was also witnessing an expansion of the Chinese yuan currency-linked business.

Hong Kong is the first place outside the mainland with a yuan bond market.

“The development of renminbi [yuan] business in Hong Kong has further deepened economic integration between Hong Kong and the mainland, providing valuable opportunities for investors who wish to gain exposure to this strengthening currency,” Chan said.

He also urged investors to capitalize on the growth of the mainland economy by investing in Chinese enterprises listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. There are some 440 such enterprises, ranging from financial institutions, telecommunications, coal and gold mining, oil, gas, car manufacturing to supermarkets, he said.

Chan gave an assurance that Hong Kong would review its regulatory model to ensure that it would not hamper financial innovation nor stifle further development of its financial services industry.

In June last year, it announced a set of initiatives to streamline the licensing procedures for overseas fund managers wishing to operate in Hong Kong.

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