Hong Kong is Asiaâs hub for financial services, being particularly strong in banking, insurance, asset management, wealth management and professional services.
Financial Services Sector in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the leading global financial services centres in the world. As of 2011, it was
ranked 3rd in the Global Financial Centre Index, behind London and New York. Hong Kong is
Asia?s hub for financial services, being particularly strong in banking, insurance, asset
management, wealth management and professional services.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is committed to ensuring
that Hong Kong remains one of the world?s leading financial centres. Hong Kong?s role as a
leading global capital-raising centre, asset management centre and offshore Renminbi (RMB)
business centre presents further opportunities for UK financial, legal, accountancy and other
specialist and professional service companies.
The financial services sector is one of Hong Kong?s four traditional pillar industries. The
financial services sector contributed more than 16% of Hong Kong?s GDP and employed over
210,000 people in 2011.
At the end of August 2011, there were 150 licensed banks, 19 restricted licence bank and 26
deposit-taking companies in Hong Kong, together with 67 local representative offices of
overseas banking institutions. These institutions came from 34 countries and included 71 out of
the world?s largest 100 banks.
? Hong Kong taps into more diversified business opportunities to attract major international
enterprises to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, especially those global luxury
consumer brands and commodity trading companies. There is an increasing demand for
professional advice in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, business restructuring,
enterprise health checks, manpower planning and risk management. In order to maintain
and compete at a higher level as a whole, Hong Kong encourages individuals to pursue
ongoing professional training to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
? Development of Renminbi Banking Business
China has selected Hong Kong to internationalise its Renminbi (RMB) currency, which allows
Hong Kong to reinforce its position as an international financial centre with major progress in
developing itself into an offshore RMB business centre. In 2011, there were 116 RMB bonds
issued in Hong Kong, raising a total of RMB180 billion. At the end of 2011, RMB deposits in
Hong Kong amounted to nearly RMB 590 billion.
A wide spectrum of RMB bond issuers included local and foreign corporations, Hong Kong
branches of foreign banks and international financial institutions. Target markets of RMB bonds
covered both institutional and individual retail investors.
The UK-Hong Kong Forum was announced by the Chancellor and Hong Kong Monetary
Authority in January 2012. This was a step forward to strengthen the UK-China Economic &
Financial Dialogue (EFD) initiated in September 2011 to provide private sector-led opportunity
for offshore RMB market in London. At the same time, it would launch a cooperation project on
the development of RMB-denominated products and services in London. (source: HM Treasury
& Hong Kong Monetary Authority)
? Gateway to China and the Asia Pacific Region
Hong Kong is Asia?s regional centre and China?s international financial capital centre for
international capital raising, IPOs and listings, especially for Mainland Chinese-owned
At the end of 2011, 1,496 companies were listed in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK),
with a market capitalisation of over HK$17,536 Billion. Amongst these, 640 were Mainland
enterprises which had a market capitalisation of around HK$9,723 Billion representing 55% of
the total value (source: Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing)
Opportunities for British companies in Legal Services
? Arbitration and mediation
? Corporate finance
? Listing law
? Intellectual property protection
? IT law
? Projects, energy and construction law
? Anti-monopoly law
The HKSAR Government is planning to set up a Financial Services Dispute Resolution Centre
(FDRC) by mid 2012. There are increasing opportunities for training and dispute resolution for
British legal sector in these fields.
Opportunities for UK companies in Financial Services
? Banking and Insurance products
? Foreign exchange dealings given the increasing demand for Renminbi (RMB) transactions
? RMB bond issuance
? Loan financing
? Insurance and medical protection products
? Private equity funding
? Mergers & acquisitions
? Financial services training
? Financial skills training
Latest export opportunities ? Financial & Professional Services
Latest export opportunities ? Hong Kong
Getting into the market
There are no barriers of access to the market by foreign businesses and no restrictions on capital
flows into and out of Hong Kong. There is no exchange control either.
Companies based in Hong Kong are well placed to help international companies expand into
China and those in the region to invest in the UK. For example, good opportunities exist for
helping Hong Kong and Chinese companies through private equity, venture capital and London
More about doing business in Hong Kong
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
? Claire Ip, British Consulate-General. Tel: +852 2901 3154 or email:
? Clara Chung, British Consulate-General. Tel: +852 2901 3093 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
Visit of Lord Mayor of City of London in Hong Kong and China
Date: September 2012
International Bar Association Mergers and Acquisitions Conference in Hong Kong
Date: 8-9 November 2012
Hong Kong International Licensing Show
Date: 7-9 January 2013
Asian Financial Forum 2013
Date: 14-15 January 2013
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events ? Financial & Professional Services
Latest events ? Hong Kong
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters