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FS paves way to green, digital future

A number of initiatives and measures aimed at accelerating high-quality development were announced in today’s 2024-25 Budget, with the Government emphasising a move towards a green future and digitalisation.   Explaining that high-quality development spurs ongoing economic innovation and growth whilst conserving the natural environment, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong must pursue opportunities through leveraging its advantages under “one country, two systems”, namely those of enjoying strong support at a national level and being closely connected to other parts of the world.   He stressed that green development involves huge business opportunities and financing needs, as governments and businesses around the world pursue carbon neutrality and green transformation. In addition, he said digitalisation has become a new driving force for economic development, empowering enterprises to enhance efficiency, boost their competitiveness and achieve new growth.   Introdu

Swap Connect to launch in 6 months

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today welcomed the introduction of Swap Connect, which enables mutual access arrangements between the interest rate swap markets of the Mainland and Hong Kong.   According to a joint announcement by the People’s Bank of China, the Securities & Futures Commission and the Monetary Authority, Swap Connect will be officially launched six months later, following the completion of preparatory work including finalising the relevant rules and system development, and obtaining regulatory approvals.   Swap Connect refers to an arrangement that enables investors to participate in the financial derivatives markets in the Mainland and Hong Kong through a connection between infrastructure institutions in both places.   It will start with northbound trading in the initial phase, allowing Hong Kong and overseas investors to participate in the Mainland’s interbank derivatives market through arrangements in trading, clearing, settlement etc between specified institutions in Hong Kong and the Mainland.   Southbound trading will be explored in due course, aiming to allow Mainland investors to participate in Hong Kong’s derivatives market through mutual access arrangements between specified institutions of the two places.   Chief Executive John Lee said Swap Connect marks another milestone in the integration of the Mainland and Hong Kong financial markets through introducing mutual access in the realm of financial derivatives products, enhancing the comprehensiveness of the product suit trading under the mutual market access schemes.   “I am most grateful to the Central People’s Government for announcing the initiative at the beginning of the new-term Government, which will bolster investors’ confidence in our country’s steadfast support to the development of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.   “The implementation of the initiative will further support Hong Kong in strengthening its functions as a global offshore renminbi business hub and a risk management centre in response to the targets laid down in the National 14th Five-Year Plan, while contributing to the high-quality opening up of the Mainland capital market.”   Financial Secretary Paul Chan said: “Swap Connect will help drive forward the development of derivatives markets in the Mainland and Hong Kong, offering more diverse risk management tool options to investors and enhancing the ecosystem for derivatives products of the two places.   “It will also be conducive to the development of Hong Kong’s offshore RMB market, thereby further consolidating Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and a global offshore renminbi business hub.”   Monetary Authority Chief Executive Eddie Yue noted: “Swap Connect will create synergy with Bond Connect to facilitate global investors’ management of interest rate risks for their bond investment on the Mainland. The scheme will add to the depth and breadth of the opening-up of the Mainland financial markets. It will also create more opportunities for financial institutions in Hong Kong and strengthen Hong Kong's status as a risk management centre.”
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