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FS' speech


Following is the speech made by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the celebration ceremony on completion of the HKSAR Government Global Bond Offering at Government House this afternoon (July 22):

David, Guangbei, KL, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

I am truly delighted to be here today to mark the successful completion of the HKSAR Government's $20 billion Global Bond Offering.

This offering, with Hong Kong Dollar and US Dollar tranches of different maturity and involving both retail and institutional investors, was a major taking of ours. I am very glad to report that this offering went smoothly and successfully.

As I set out in the 2004 Budget in March this year, the objectives of this bond issuance are: to fund our infrastructural and other investment projects and to provide greater flexibility in the management of our liquidity; secondary, to offer an investment option to retail as well as institutional investors; and to promote development of our bond market.

Our Global Bond Offering provides an investment option with comparatively low risk and stable return. Both institutional investors around the world and our retail investors have high regards for our bonds.

In the institutional tranches, we have attracted a broad base of high quality institutional investors, and our order book resembles a sterling list of who's who in the international investment community. In promoting the offering to global investors, we have reaffirmed their confidence in the strong economic fundamentals of Hong Kong as well as the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of our Government.

The biggest advantage of our financial market lies in its quality. This offering of government bonds has enhanced the depth and quality of our capital market. Furthermore, by providing a series of benchmarks for government bonds both domestically and internationally through this offering, we have further enhanced access to debt capital markets for our borrowers from both the public and private sectors.

We are delighted that this offer has attracted a high quality order book with very competitive pricing. In view of the success of this offering, we are keeping an open mind on issuing bonds to raise funds for our infrastructural developments and investment projects in the future.

Having come from the business sector, I am always keenly aware that the essential ingredients for success of enterprises are flexibility, responsiveness and the ability to see where the market is going. Through the completion of this Global Bond Offering, the HKSAR Government has successfully delivered upon the pledges I made in the 2004 Budget in March. And in completing the $6 billion securitisation of the Hong Kong Link and the $20 billion Global Bond Offering in such quick succession, the Government has shown itself to be flexible, quick to respond, cognizant of where the market is going and all-in-all, a "can-do" spirit.

Ladies and gentlemen, the successful completion of our Global Bond Offering represents a landmark issue from the Asian region. The Government will continue to promote further development of our bond market so as to reinforce our position as the financial capital of, not only China, but of the whole region.

I would like to thank the Joint Global Coordinators, the Bookrunners, the placing banks and participating brokers for your support of this groundbreaking transaction. I would also like to thank all other parties who have been involved in the preparation and execution of this offering. Thanks to your good work, your good team work, I believe this Global Bond Offering will be remembered as a landmark in the development of Hong Kong's capital market.

Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, July 22, 2004


The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the securities of HKSAR Government in the United States. HKSAR Government's securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933 or an exemption from registration. Any public offering of securities in the United States will be made by means of an offering circular that can be obtained from the HKSAR Government, and the offering circular will contain detailed information about the HKSAR Government. No money, securities or other consideration is being solicited by this document.

The information contained herein also does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy HKSAR Government's securities nor shall there be any sale of such securities in any state or country in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or country.

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