Hong Kong – IMF acknowledges Hong Kong’s strong economic recovery and stability of its financial system

IMF acknowledges Hong Kong’s strong economic recovery and stability of its financial system

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     The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a Staff Report today (March 8) which, substantiated by a more detailed analysis, reinforces its assessment of Hong Kong’s economic and financial positions published on January 20, 2022, following the conclusion of the 2022 Article IV Consultation.

 

     Reaffirming Hong Kong’s position as a major global financial centre with a resilient financial system, sound macroprudential policies, and robust regulatory and supervisory frameworks, the IMF recognises that Hong Kong’s financial sector has continued expanding robustly, even during the pandemic. The IMF commends that Hong Kong has made significant progress in addressing climate change in the past decade and recognises the Government’s ongoing efforts to enhance the green and sustainable finance ecosystem. The IMF also welcomes that a large fiscal stimulus has helped mitigate the impact of economic shocks and speed up economic recovery. It supports the Government’s three-pronged approach to containing housing market risks and increasing housing affordability (which include macroprudential measures, demand-side management measures and an increase in housing supply).

 

     The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said, “I welcome the IMF’s recognition of our strong economic recovery supported by swift and bold policy responses. Having considered that the economic situation in Hong Kong has taken a drastic turn with the outbreak of the fifth wave of the pandemic, I have announced in the 2022-23 Budget counter-cyclical measures, involving a total commitment of over $170 billion, with a view to providing appropriate assistance for individuals and businesses affected by the fifth wave of the local outbreak. The counter-cyclical measures, together with those introduced in the past two years and multiple rounds of the Anti‑epidemic Fund, involving a total commitment of over $650 billion, are effective in mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. We will continue to closely monitor the local epidemic situation, take necessary and effective fiscal measures and further strengthen our already robust institutional frameworks with a view to fostering economic recovery after the pandemic and safeguarding financial stability.”

 

     The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mr Eddie Yue, said, “I welcome the IMF’s reaffirmation of the robustness and resilience of our banking and financial system. The well-functioning Linked Exchange Rate System will continue to be an anchor of economic and financial stability for Hong Kong.”

 

     The IMF Mission held virtual discussions with government officials, regulators and private sector representatives in Hong Kong from December 1 to 15, 2021, for the 2022 Article IV Consultation with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Concluding Statement of the Mission’s assessment was published on January 20, 2022. The Staff Report was endorsed by the IMF Executive Board on February 10, 2022.

 

     The IMF’s press release on the Staff Report is attached in the Annex. The Staff Report can be accessed from the websites of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (www.fstb.gov.hk) and the IMF (www.imf.org).

Hong Kong – Future of Hong Kong’s visual culture in times of pandemic (with photo)

Future of Hong Kong’s visual culture in times of pandemic (with photo)

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     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin (HKETO Berlin), together with the Centre for International Relations (CIR) and THINKTANK, organised an online seminar on February 15 (Warsaw time). Renowned speakers from the creative industry in Hong Kong and Poland, including Ms Ikko Yokoyama, Lead Curator, Design and Architecture of M+, Hong Kong; Mr Tomek Rygalik, Founder of Studio Rygalik and Design Nature; and Dr Paweł Ukielski, Deputy Director of Warsaw Rising Museum, shared valuable insights on how the arts and culture industry has overcome the obstacles and navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic and discussed the current developments of visual culture in Asia and Europe. 



     Ms Jenny Szeto, the Director of HKETO Berlin, pointed out in her welcoming remarks that Hong Kong has demonstrated remarkable resilience by using innovative ways to strengthen its position as an emerging arts and cultural hub in Asia amid the pandemic.



     Hong Kong has all along been an East-meets-West hub for international arts and cultural exchanges. With Asian economies’ strong performance and fast recovery from the pandemic, the Asian and Hong Kong art scenes flourish, attracting both artists and entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their presence here.



     “The promotion of arts is one of Hong Kong’s top priorities. The development of the city’s arts and culture formed a key part of the Government’s budget in 2020-21, with a total of HK$5.5 billion (around 2.8 billion Zloty) allocated to the arts and culture, excluding capital works expenditure,” Ms Szeto said.



     West Kowloon Cultural District is a flagship project designed to boost Hong Kong’s art and cultural landscape. “The centerpiece of the District is the M+, Hong Kong’s new visual cultural museum which opened its doors to the public in November last year, dramatically changing the Asian art landscape. The creators of M+ defined its mission as collecting and curating visual culture, encompassing twentieth and twenty-first century art, design and architecture as well as moving image from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Asia and the whole world,” Ms Szeto added.



     The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been supporting the creative industries over the years: In the 2021-22 Budget, an additional injection of HK$1 billion (around 500 million Zloty) into the CreateSmart Initiative to drive the development of the creative industries was announced. On top of that, an additional allocation of HK$900 million (around 460 million Zloty) was earmarked for the Art Development Matching Grants Scheme to further promote culture and arts from all sectors.



About HKETO Berlin



     HKETO Berlin is the official Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government representative in commercial relations and other economic and trade matters in Poland as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s position as international financial centre remains resilient and market prospers since implementation of National Security Law

Hong Kong’s position as international financial centre remains resilient and market prospers since implementation of National Security Law

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     The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, today (July 17) said that the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL) has reinforced Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre. He also reiterated that the so-called “business advisory” issued by the US Administration to US businesses and individuals operating in Hong Kong is totally ridiculous and unfounded.

     Mr Chan said, “Although Hong Kong has experienced severe challenges of social unrest and COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years, Hong Kong’s financial market has remained stable, orderly and vibrant, seeing active trading in stock market and thriving initial public offering (IPO) activities. Hong Kong’s banking system also continues to operate smoothly as always. All these reflect that the market is full of confidence about Hong Kong’s financial environment.”

     NSL has been implemented in July last year. The financial data of the past year clearly shows that investors’ confidence about Hong Kong has not been shaken by NSL and the development of the financial industry has been very prosperous. Over the past year, the amount of IPO funds raised in Hong Kong has exceeded $500 billion, representing an increase of more than 50 per cent over the previous 12 months. The average daily turnover of Hong Kong stocks has also reached $160 billion, which is nearly 70 per cent higher than the situation before the implementation of NSL. The linked exchange rate system has also worked well as always. The Hong Kong dollar market recorded a net capital inflow in 2020. Since the implementation of NSL in July to October last year, the amount of funds flowing into the Hong Kong dollar system exceeded $300 billion. At present, the total deposits in Hong Kong’s banking system have increased by more than 5 per cent over last year. The total deposits are approximately $14,900 billion as at the end of May. The net asset value of funds management in Hong Kong at the end of last year has also increased by some 20 per cent over the end of 2019. 

     Moreover, comparing to the situation before the implementation of NSL, the daily average turnover of northbound trading of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect has increased over 90 per cent to nearly RMB110 billion. As for Bond Connect, the daily average turnover of northbound trading has also increased by more than 30 per cent over the past year, reaching the amount of RMB23 billion. The figures reflect that international investors still prefer using Hong Kong as a platform to invest in the Mainland’s financial market.

     Mr Chan said, “We will actively discuss with the regulators in the two places about the implementation details of the cross-boundary ‘Wealth Management Connect’ scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Southbound Bond Connect. It is hoped to launch the two schemes early, so that mutual access of the financial markets in the two places can be further widened and deepened. It can also explore a huge source of clients and room for business development for the Hong Kong financial industry as well as foster the development of the local wealth and asset management business markets, which can help to further enhance Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre and a global offshore Renminbi business hub.”

     In order to tap the Mainland market and to seize the opportunities arising from Fintech and green finance development, some global financial institutions are planning to increase resources or expand their operations in Hong Kong, reflecting investors’ continued confidence in Hong Kong.

     Besides, the HKSAR Government also strongly condemns the so-called “sanctions” imposed on the seven deputy directors of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In fact, the HKSAR Government has stated on many occasions that the so-called “sanctions” unilaterally imposed by foreign governments do not conform to international laws and have no legal status in Hong Kong; nor do they create any legal obligations in Hong Kong for institutions operating here.

Greenland Hong Kong’s Core Business Continues Performing Well in 2020, Leads High-quality Development with ‘Two Wings in One’ Strategy

Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited (“Greenland Hong Kong”, HKG: 00337) held an online 2020 annual results conference in Shanghai, Mr. Chen Jun (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greenland Hong Kong), Mr. Chen Zeng Li (Vice President) and Mr. Lei Yu (Secretary of the Board) attending the press conference.

Business Highlights (as of 31 December, 2020):

— Revenue was approximately RMB33.73 billion
— Total Assets was approximately RMB164.99 billion
— Net Profit were approximately RMB3,459 million
— Profit for the year attribute to the owners of the Company was approximately RMB2,608 million
— Gross Profit was approximately RMB8,249 million. Gross Profit Margin reached 24.5%.
— Earnings per share amounted to RMB0.94 per share
— Contracted Sales reached approximately RMB54.53 billion, increase 13% year-on-year
— The Board of Directors have recommended the payment of a final dividend of HK$[-] per Ordinary Share for the year ended 31 December 2020
— As at the date of the annual results announcement, Greenland Hong Kong has added approximately 12.15 million square meters of gross floor area (GFA) that costed 149.6 billion from 54 new parcels of land in 20 cities

Mr. Chen Jun, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greenland Hong Kong said, “2020 was an extraordinary year. Under the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Greenland Hong Kong still made efforts, worked hard, took initiatives, and adopted effective measures and strategies in this hard time, and achieved a remarkable performance by improving our core business and product quality.”

The improvement of core business and the integration of financial structure

The Group’s total contracted sales amounted approximately RMB54,535 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 13%. The revenue was RMB33.73 billion, total assets amounted RMB164.99 billion and the total profit reached RMB3,459 million. Gross profit was RMB8,249 million and the gross profit margin achieved 24.5%, earnings per share amounted to RMB0.94. While maintaining a high level of profitability, the Company’s financial structure has been continuously optimized. The net interest-bearing debt ratio of the Company accounted 49% and the current interest-bearing debt was RMB24.689 billion. The weighted average financing cost drop to 5.5% that maintaining at a low level in the industry. Meanwhile, the Company continued to strengthen the cash flow control. While ensuring a high de-conversion rate of project, it also focused on the sales collection that the total sales collection rate of the whole year exceeded [90%]. Up to now, the Company’s book cash stock is RMB13.853 billion, and the cash to debt ratio is 1.3 times, which fully covers the short-term interest-bearing liabilities. It shows the Company’s strong operation ability and risk resistance ability, and provides strong guarantee for the further development of the Company.

The continuous of increasing reserve and the strategic layout of “two wings in one” has deepen the Company development

As of the performance announcement date, Greenland Hong Kong has added 54 new projects, 12.15 million cubic meters of land reserves and nearly RMB150 billion of new goods value through various ways such as “group capital injection, strategic land acquisition, cooperative merger and open market”, further consolidating the Company’s sustainable development momentum. Through the capital injection of Greenland Group, the major shareholder, Greenland Hong Kong obtained 35 projects in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area at one time, increasing the construction area by 8.33 million cubic meters. These projects are concentrated in the core cities with large population introduction, high industrial concentration, rapid economic development and competitive advantages. This capital injection has realized the rapid and deep layout of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, formed the strategic pattern of “two wings in one” of the Yangtze Delta and Greater Bay Area, and laid a solid foundation for a new round of development in the future.

Improving quality and efficiency under the lean management. Providing innovative products that is recognized by the market

Comprehensively optimize the large operation system and comprehensively improve the fine management. Greenland Hong Kong has over 5 million square meters of new construction area, nearly 4 million square meters of new supply area, over 4 million square meters of newly completed equipment, and about 4.5 million square meters of completed delivery. At the same time, around the original intention of creating a better lifestyle for customers, we revere every inch of land, adhere to the product concept of “going home is the beginning of vacation”, and constantly update the products, so as to build every project into an IP work with green Hong Kong attribute. The annual one-time delivery rate of projects reached 92%, and 75 awards were won, including 20 international awards, 53 national awards and 2 provincial and municipal awards, which were deeply recognized by the market. In the future, Greenland Hong Kong will stick to its ingenuity and set up the competitiveness of the enterprise with the quality benchmark.

In-depth layout “Real Estate +” strategy, continuous expansion and improvement of the industrial layout

Recently, the Company has established an industrial development group, which focusing on the four major business sectors of industrial parks, comprehensive healthcare, long-term rental apartments, and asset management, while strategically coordinate resources, empower energy and improve efficiency, and continuously improve industrial operation capabilities. Last year, the occupancy rate of Morange Fox Mansion exceeded 100%, and the next step will be replicated in Haikou and Wuxi; the occupancy rate of long-term rental apartments is over 90%; together with Huimei Capital which focuses on medical and health care, under Hillhouse Capital’s to create a “base + fund + operation” health industrial park Model; Signed a strategic contract with German Medical Valley to import the world’s top health technology resources. The Shanghai International Education Park was opened as a whole, and Shanghai Jiaotong University and Gaoteng Innovation School moved in and started school. Greenland Hong Kong has accumulated unique understanding and practice in the rent, occupancy rate, cooperative brand of the park, or the introduction of avant-garde technology, the innovation of smart equipment or service operation mode. Through a series of successful industrial operations, the value of assets has been further enhanced, and a new level of growth has also been created for the development of the enterprise!

Reform and innovation of mechanism and system, continue to stimulate team vitality

In 2020, Greenland Hong Kong boldly promoted system and mechanism innovation, broke the original incentive model and project management method, and comprehensively implements innovative mechanisms such as “project follow-up investment”, “management cost contract”, “marketing cost contract”, etc., so that all employees can form a community which sharing risks and benefits, fully stimulating the vitality of the team, effectively improving the prudence and accuracy of project decision-making and thence to further reducing costs and increasing efficiency, and leaving room for improving corporate operating efficiency.

At the same time, the digital transformation has achieved initial success. Greenland Hong Kong actively embraced digital technology, took the data-centered thinking as its creed, and relied on digital technology to continually provide Greenland Hong Kong full-life-cycle project online digital management support, that to achieve four aspects of Company management, including control, cost reduction, efficiency increase and empowerment, in order to empower the enterprise.

Bravely assume the mission of social responsibility and actively contribute to charity

While focusing on the healthy development of the Company, Greenland Hong Kong also actively pays attention to charity and public welfare undertakings and fulfills its corporate social responsibility and mission. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 2846 Company’s caring employees voluntarily organized and donated nearly RMB800,000 in one day, sourcing anti-epidemic materials around the world to help the frontline; fighting the “epidemic” to help farmers, poverty alleviation by industry, overcoming difficulties with farmers; the “Red Coat Village Children’s Charity Project” passed the love of owners, customers, employees and their families to left-behind children in poor mountainous areas. There were 35 rural primary schools in 9 provinces, and more than 5,000 poor students benefited. Greenland Hong Kong practicing the corporate mission of “ideal, warm, and sentimental” with practical actions.

Looking forward to the future, Mr. Chen Jun said, “2021 will be the eighth year of the establishment of Greenland Hong Kong and the beginning of the ’14th Five-Year Plan’. In the past eight years, Greenland Hong Kong has carried out a better life with diversified businesses, strategically located in the Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other domestic key areas, adhered to the ‘real estate +’ development strategy, continued to develop with high quality, and reached a new level of comprehensive strength. In the face of the new economic situation and industry structure, Greenland Hong Kong will face up to challenges, actively adapt to the new situation and new changes, run with energy, and will never slacken its efforts to promote the high-quality and rapid development of Greenland Hong Kong.”

About Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited

Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited (337.HK) is a subsidiary of Greenland Holdings, one of the top 500 companies in the world. Ever since its establishment 27 years ago, Greenland Holdings has created a diversified development pattern of “focusing on the development of real estate market and placing equal stress on Big Infrastructure, Big Finance, Big Consumption, medical and healthcare and scientific innovation” with a global presence. By adhering to the development strategies of capitalization, popularization and internationalization, Greenland Holdings has secured its market presence in more than 100 cities of domestic and overseas countries such as China, the United States, Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Leveraging Greenland Holdings’ mature brand image, rich resources, large scale and system, advanced management and passionate corporate culture, Greenland Hong Kong will comprehensively consolidate the existing assets and fully utilize the advantages of the capital platform in Hong Kong to establish itself as a benchmark in the Hong Kong capital market for mainland China real estate players.

This press release is distributed by Porda Havas International Finance Communications Group Limited on behalf of Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited. For enquiries, please contact [email protected], or:

Porda Havas International Finance Communications Group Limited

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Topic: Press release summary