Email this article Government Homepage
Speech by FS at HKEx 6th Anniversary Cocktail Reception (English only) (With photos)

Following is the full text of the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the 6th Anniversary Cocktail Reception of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) this evening (June 8):

Ronald, Paul, members of the Board of Directors, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the listing of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. I wish to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to the new chairman, Ronald, for another year of remarkable achievements for the Hong Kong Exchanges.  

     Hong Kong's stock market now ranks second in Asia and eighth in the world in terms of market capitalisation. And in terms of equity funds raised through IPOs, we ranked first in Asia and were the world's third largest fund raiser in 2005. This is indeed something we can be proud of.

     Leveraging on our close ties with the Mainland, the Hong Kong Exchanges has come a long way in becoming the premier capital formation centre for Mainland enterprises. The recent successful mega listings of the China Construction Bank and the Bank of China have clearly demonstrated Hong Kong's success in this role. These two IPOs together have raised a total of HK$147 billion, which is by any standard a remarkable achievement.  

     The 348 Mainland enterprises listed on the Hong Kong Exchanges together account for 30% of our listed companies, 43% of our market capitalisation and more than half of our market turnover. Looking ahead, Mainland issuers will continue to be a major driver of growth in our securities market.  We must continue to uphold our high regulatory standards and embrace good corporate governance practices, as many Mainland enterprises seeking listings in Hong Kong are in fact not just to raise capital but also seeking the badge of quality from our internationally recognised regulatory standards.  

     With the recent announcement of measures by the Central People's Government to relax foreign exchange controls to allow investment of Mainland capital in overseas markets, the source of growth will eventually extend to cover Mainland investors. I am confident that Hong Kong stands ready to capitalise on the opportunities brought about by these new measures. While we may all congratulate ourselves for this outstanding achievement, we must be vigilant, and indeed, be responsible, that we are the nation's capital market and we have to play our part to safeguard it.

     It would not have been possible for the Hong Kong Exchanges to attain its remarkable accomplishments during the past year without the visionary leadership of the Board of Directors and the dedication and commitment of your staff members. I would like to pay a special thank you to the past chairman Mr Charles Lee who had led this company for a long time and had contributed to much of achievements that we have accomplished today. May I take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your contributions to the continued development of our financial markets. I wish you even bigger success in the years to come. Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, June 8, 2006
Issued at HKT 20:15


Photo Photo