Hong Kong 2003
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Financial and Monetary Affairs
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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 of GDP.

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 capitalisation.

  • 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 and practices.

  • 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.

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