Transcript of remarks by FS at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at a media session today (July 10) at the lobby of West Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar:

Financial Secretary: As you're all aware, the local stock market has been volatile in the past few weeks, particularly so in the past few days. The Hang Seng Index plunged as much as 2100 points on Wednesday on fears of the possibility that Greece would exit from the Eurozone and the potential impact of that exit on the global financial market as well as a sharp correction in the stock markets in the Mainland. The Hang Seng Index rebounded strongly in the past couple of days and was up 508 points today - that's about 2 per cent - to close at 24901 points, just short of 25000.

     In spite of the major fluctuation, the local market has been trading and operating in an orderly and smooth fashion. The currency and interest rate markets have remained stable; the banking system has no liquidity issue. This demonstrates that Hong Kong as an international financial centre, our systems and infrastructure are robust and they're well equipped in meeting the challenges during market fluctuations.

     Looking ahead, the stock market is still subject to the influence of a number of strong external factors, in particular the progress of discussion by the Eurozone leaders on the deal with Greece, and the market situation in the Mainland. Our regulators would remain vigilant. Investors should remain calm and rational. The Government and relevant authorities will continue to keep a close watch on the global and local markets and ensure that our market will continue to operate in an orderly and smooth manner.

Reporter: Secretary, as you've said, there's still been a lot of fluctuations in the market ... with all the uncertainties with what's happening in Greece and also the Mainland market. Beijing introduced new measures to try and stabilise the market, but that doesn't seem to have really helped. Do you think there's anything in Hong Kong that we may have to implement, any sort of procedures we have to implement to help stabilise the market in the coming weeks?

Financial Secretary: The market is stable. Operation and the trading has been conducted in a smooth and orderly manner. This is what we expect of our market, and it's doing what we expect of our markets, but we don't need to do anything.

Reporter: But a lot of investors are quite concerned and they're feeling quite cautious because ....

Financial Secretary: They should be cautious. It's a volatile market, and I hope they would remain cautious.

Reporter: Mr Tsang, given the volatility here and in the Mainland, are there any concerns about further links with the Mainland like the Shenzhen Stock Connect, in that they bring even more risk to Hong Kong?

Financial Secretary: Well, we are connected. I mean, the global markets are all well connected now, so whatever happens in other markets will have an impact on Hong Kong, which is a very externally oriented market. But we conduct our regulatory practices in a mature and sophisticated way, and we will continue to do that to ensure that our market will remain stable and our market trading and operations will continue in an orderly and smooth manner.

Reporter: Is there any time frame for establishing the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect?

Financial Secretary: We don't have a time frame, but I'm sure at an opportune time they will push it out and we'll be able to join in.

Reporter: Do you think the volatility in the market on the Mainland makes ...?

Financial Secretary: Maybe. Maybe not.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, July 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:33