Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 4:
Financial and Monetary Affairs
Hong Kong as an International Financial Centre
Banking Sector
Securities and Futures Sector
Insurance Sector
Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes and Occupational Retirement Schemes
Financial Links between Hong Kong and the Mainland
Enhancing Hong Kong's Competitiveness as an International Financial Centre
Companies Registry
Money Lenders
Bankruptcies, Individual Voluntary Arrangement and Compulsory Winding-up
Professional Accountancy
Monetary Policy
Monetary Situation
Exchange Fund
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With booming banking, securities and insurance businesses, Hong Kong stands tall as an international financial centre. Its bustling stock exchange ranks second in Asia and sixth in the world. Moreover, with a workforce of 179 500 — 5.4 per cent of the working population — the financial sector contributed 12.7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product at factor cost in 2006.

Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant international financial centres in the world with sophisticated financial infrastructure, world-class financial professionals, a sound regulatory regime on a par with international standards, and high liquidity and efficiency. The Government's policy is to further reinforce Hong Kong's position by making continuous improvements to the regulatory system, promoting corporate governance, strengthening investor protection, fostering market development and enhancing links and cooperation with the Mainland.

Hong Kong had a number of major achievements in 2006 including:

  becoming the world's 15th largest banking centre in terms of external assets and sixth largest centre for foreign exchange trading;
its stock market being ranked sixth worldwide and second in Asia in terms of market capitalisation; second worldwide and first in Asia in terms of equity funds raised through initial public offerings; and third worldwide and first in Asia in terms of total equity funds raised;
its asset management business topping $4,526 billion;
total outstanding Hong Kong dollar debt securities reaching $748 billion at year-end, up from $664 billion a year earlier;
total assets of Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) schemes growing to $202.41 billion by year-end. About 98.5 per cent of employers, 97.7 per cent of relevant employees and 74.5 per cent of self-employed people have enrolled in MPF schemes;
continuing to be one of the most open insurance markets in the world and achieving an annual growth in premium of 16 per cent for the last five years;
the market capitalisation of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) rising to $53 billion by year-end;
the enactment of the Financial Reporting Council Ordinance, further strengthening the regulatory regime of the accountancy profession and upgrading the quality of corporate financial reporting.
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