Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Transcript of remarks by FS (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at a media session today (August 24) at the lobby of West Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar:

Financial Secretary: As you are all aware, the local stock market has been volatile today, to put it mildly, with the Hang Seng Index down by 1,158 points to close at 21,251 points - a drop of 5.2 per cent. In fact, since April this year, we have come down by 25 per cent from a high of 28,443 points. Hong Kong is an externally oriented market and has always been subject to the impacts of foreign financial markets and the fast-changing external environments. In spite of the major fluctuations, most importantly, the local market traded and operated in an orderly and smooth fashion, and the currency and interest rate markets remain stable. We have not seen substantial outflow of funds from Hong Kong, and our banking system has no liquidity issue.

     The global economy is still subject to the influence of a number of external factors. The uncertainties over the timing and the pace of US interest rate hike, the slow recovery of the economies of Europe and Japan, the growth issues in the Chinese economy, as well as the fears about further currency depreciation and asset price adjustments in the emerging markets, as well as geopolitical tensions in different parts of the world, are all expected to continue to affect the global economic outlook in the near future.

     In light of the market volatility, investors must be especially aware of the risk and invest within their means. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong's system is robust and our financial infrastructure is well equipped to meet the challenges during severe market fluctuations. The Government and our regulatory agencies will continue to keep a close watch on the global and local markets and ensure that our market continues to operate smoothly.

Reporter: Mr Tsang, with the devaluation of Renminbi causing nearby countries' currencies to fall - we see big falls in Indonesian and Malaysian currencies, and as you mentioned Korea, there is still geopolitical uncertainties - do you worry that international investors would be more hesitant to invest in Hong Kong in the short term?

Financial Secretary: Well, I think investors should be wary of any market in the world, so I think people would be very cautious in the coming months in terms of their investments.

Reporter: Does Hong Kong have enough safeguards in place ... now that there's more interconnectivity with the Chinese markets through Stock Connect?

Financial Secretary: I see it as two separate markets, there's two separate markets. The Stock Connect is a component of that, and everything is really well regulated by our respective agencies, so I'm not particularly concerned, but we have to be mindful of what is going on here, in the Mainland as well as internationally.

Reporter: Mr Tsang, do you foresee a financial crisis in the short future and wouldn't Government do anything to stop the plunge?

Financial Secretary: I wouldn't call it a financial crisis, but I think the impact on the various markets has been rather severe, so investors need to be very mindful of how they would invest in the near future.

Reporter: Why wouldn't the Government do anything, like other countries to help stop the plunge?

Financial Secretary: We are an open market. Markets would rise, markets would fall. What we need to ensure is that the markets operate smoothly and in an orderly manner. That is our responsibility and we will continue to do that.

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

Ends/Monday, August 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:42


Print this page