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Hong Kong can fend off financial volatility: former monetary authority head

(Xinhua)    16:57, July 29, 2020

Hong Kong has the capability of fending off financial volatility with its stable financial system and cautious regulation, Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said Wednesday.

Speaking at an online forum of Our Hong Kong Foundation, Yam said Hong Kong can weather out external challenges, including what he called "a possible third wave of financial crisis". Yam currently is a member of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

From the monetary system to the banking sector and equity market, Hong Kong's financial system remains stable, Yam said, adding that banks here have probably the highest capital adequacy ratios in the world and also very safe liquidity ratios.

Hong Kong's regulatory system has remained efficient and cautious, Yam added. "Hong Kong will of course be affected (by external volatility) but will not see the systemic influence."

"There has been capital inflows into Hong Kong, amounting to 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 15 billion U.S. dollars). That actually is very clear. Our financial system and monetary system remain very robust," Yam said.

Looking ahead, Yam said Hong Kong should continue to make good use of its unique advantages and serve as a bridge between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world so that it can forge ahead as an international financial center.

"The financial needs of the Chinese mainland, the world's second-largest economy, will grow in terms of investment and fund-raising and the world will continue to make deals with the mainland," Yam said.

To further tap the potential of its advantages, Yam believes Hong Kong should take the initiative to promote the use of the renminbi in its capital markets and strive to play a leading role in improving financial ties in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Yam is optimistic about Hong Kong's outlook as an international financial center. "Hong Kong is still the preferred place because after all we are still the biggest and most efficient offshore renminbi market and the offshore center for fund-raising of Chinese (mainland) enterprises."

However, Yam warned that social unrest, like that occurring last year, will do harm to Hong Kong if it is allowed to continue. "Fortunately, we have the national security law (in Hong Kong), which I think will form the foundation of social order and safety returning to Hong Kong."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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