The financial services sector is one of the pillars of Hong
Kong's economy. Encompassing key services such as banking, securities,
insurance, fund management and other related services, the sector
employs above 5 per cent of Hong Kong's working population, or about
180 000 people. Being a high value-added sector, its activities
account for a disproportionately high, around 12 per cent share
HONG KONG is an international financial centre with an integrated network
of financial institutions and markets. The Government's policy is to maintain
and further develop an appropriate legal, regulatory, infrastructural
and administrative framework, with the aim of providing a level playing
field for all market participants, maintaining the stability of the financial
and monetary systems and enabling Hong Kong to compete effectively with
other major financial centres.
Major achievements in 2003 are highlighted below:
Hong Kong is the world's 12th largest banking centre in terms of
external assets and seventh largest centre for foreign exchange trading.
Hong Kong's stock market ranks 10th world-wide in terms of market
The Hong Kong dollar debt market continued to grow in 2003. The total
outstanding amount of Hong Kong dollar debt securities reached $558
billion at year-end, compared with $533 billion a year earlier.
The new Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO), which consolidates
10 previous ordinances governing the securities and futures markets
into a composite piece of legislation, came into effect on April 1,
2003 to keep the regulatory regime on a par with international standards
Total assets of Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) schemes grew to about
$89.4 billion at year-end. About 95 per cent of employers, 96 per
cent of relevant employees and 82 per cent of self-employed persons
have enrolled in MPF schemes.