Hong Kong remains competitive as global financial hub: officials

HONG KONG, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — As trading resumed on Hong Kong’s financial markets Tuesday after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, officials of the global financial center said Hong Kong has shown resilience and retained competitiveness over the past year despite the COVID-19 fallout.

While the pandemic put international markets to the test, Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub has remained firm, showing strong momentum and making considerable progress, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said in her video speech at the Lunar New Year Open Market Ceremony of Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange.

The gold price opened at 16,800 Hong Kong dollars (about 2,167.74 U.S. dollars) per tael on Tuesday’s morning session, down 250 dollars from the previous trading day.

Despite travel restrictions that once disrupted the global gold trade last year, Hong Kong quickly put its business back on track and made new progress, including building closer ties with the mainland markets, Lam said.

Echoing her remarks about Hong Kong’s financial strength, Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, said Hong Kong’s financial markets demonstrated “incomparable resilience” over the past year at a ceremony of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited Tuesday.

“We not only maintained financial stability but achieved satisfactory results in multiple areas, including total turnover and capitalization of the stock market, as well as IPO fund-raising,” he said.

Chan stressed the performance points to Hong Kong’s strong foundation and its competitiveness as a leading global financial hub.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 502.25 points, or 1.66 percent, to open at 30,675.82 points on Tuesday. The index reached as high as 30,745.86 points during the morning session, the highest since June 2018.

In Year of the Ox, the HKSAR government will continue to push for the prosperous development of the financial industry and seize the opportunity in the national development, Chan said.

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