Hong Kong's capital markets remained resilient despite challenges last year and in many ways came out of 2020 stronger than ever, Laura Cha Shih May-lung, chairperson of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), said on January 18.
"Hong Kong's role as an international financial center connecting mainland ... and the rest of the world will be more relevant than ever despite significant market volatility around the globe," the chairperson said when speaking at an online financial forum.
She attributed Hong Kong's development over the past decades largely to opportunities from the reform and opening-up of the mainland. "I will see that continue to be the case as renminbi internationalization continues and as the mainland market opens more."
Despite fluctuations in global financial markets, HKEX remained steady growth in 2020, ranking the second largest globally in terms of IPO fund-raising. Especially, mega secondary listings of U.S.-traded mainland companies including JD.com and NetEase brought fresh vitality.
The chairperson believes the trend of homecoming listings will continue this year, citing Hong Kong's increasing attractiveness to businesses and investors due to bold market reforms in recent years.
An increasing number of money-starved new economy companies have turned to Hong Kong as the exchange adopted new listing rules to attract tech firms. In 2020, new economy companies made up about 60 percent of Hong Kong's IPO fund-raising. Hong Kong has become the world's second largest biotech fund-raising center.
"I have heard people in Silicon Valley said that Hong Kong now is a credible alternative to Nasdaq," she said.
The 14th Asian Financial Forum running from Monday to Tuesday was organized by the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Under the theme "Reshaping the World Economic Landscape", the forum assembled online more than 160 policymakers, financial experts, investors, business leaders and economists from across the world.