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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Regime (HKSAR) is home to a fast-growing and highly international investment fund industry. The public investment fund industry authorized in HKSAR has grown rapidly from US$628 billion in 2008 to US$1.6 trillion in net asset value (NAV) in 2020. The locally domiciled sector grew from US$121 billion in early 2015 to almost US$155 billion in 2020. Open-end funds authorized for sale in HKSAR are substantially invested in foreign assets and significantly invested in by non-HKSAR residents and are therefore reactive to international liquidity and price conditions. Locally domiciled funds invest their portfolios in both local and overseas assets markets, while they are overwhelmingly funded by HKSAR investors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The HKFE Clearing Corporation Limited (HKCC) observes the CPSS/IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMI). It has a sound, coherent and transparent legal basis. As an integral part of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX Group), the HKCC has a comprehensive and adequate risk management framework to address financial, business, and operational risks. Participant assets as well as HKCC’s collaterals are safely kept in several banks and regulated central securities depositories. The credit and liquidity risks are minimized by having a robust risk management framework, including rigorous stress testing methodology and access to qualifying liquid resources. Furthermore, the HKCC has clear rules and procedures to handle and manage a participant’s default procedures. Moreover, the HKCC has established risk management framework to handle operational risk, including cyber risk, and business continuity management that addresses events posing significant risk of operational disruption.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) is a small and open economy, and a major international financial center with extensive linkages to Mainland China. Over the past two years, Hong Kong SAR’s economy and financial sector were adversely impacted by domestic social unrest, US-China tensions, and the global COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unprecedented two consecutive years of negative economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Banking supervision and regulation by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) remain strong. This assessment confirms the 2014 Basel Core Principles assessment that the HKMA achieves a high level of compliance with the BCPs. The Basel III framework (and related guidance) and domestic and cross-border cooperation arrangements are firmly in place. The HKMA actively contributes to the development and implementation of relevant international standards. Updating their risk based supervisory approach helped the HKMA optimize supervisory resources. The HKMA’s highly experienced supervisory staff is a key driver to achieving one of the most sophisticated levels of supervision and regulation observed in Asia and beyond.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note provides an update and assessment of developments in insurance supervision since 2014. It is part of the 2020 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) and draws on discussions there from September 10 to 24, 2019. It has not been updated for the impact of recent global events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The insurance sector is large, especially long-term (life) insurance, highly international and has been growing steadily. The long-term market is amongst the world’s largest, particularly by penetration (premiums to GDP). Growth has been supported by the popularity of savings products, including sales of policies to Mainland Chinese visitors (MCVs), although these have declined from their peak. The general insurance sector, though comprising many more companies, is relatively small and spread over many lines. The authorities have identified scope for growth in protection policies as well as opportunities for captive and specialty lines related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Tax incentives have supported the recent successful introduction of new annuity and health insurance products. Although foreign-owned companies account for a large share of business, the HKSAR is the home of three major domestic groups operating internationally.