Jersey Finance opened it’s Hong Kong office on the 22nd October 2009, and has just celebrated its 4th Anniversary.
But an even more auspicious anniversary is celebrated in Hong Kong today as I look out from my desk over Hong Kong Harbour. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has brought news and comment to the special administrative region for 110 years first hitting the streets of the then British Colony on 6th November 1903
It was in 1842 that Hong Kong became a British Dependent Territory following the Opium Wars and from 1997, along with Macau, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
My first trip here was in 1998 when I discovered that the SCMP is the go to trusted publication, reporting without fear or favour, and I have returned most years since, when it has been a ready and valuable source of news and information.
The SCMP has chronicled the life of the City for 11 decades beginning during the Qing dynasty tracking the dramatic changes that have seen Hong Kong transformed into a global financial centre rivalling Singapore and Tokyo for the title of Asian World City.
An entrepreneurial spirit embedded in the City’s DNA, coupled with it’s prized shipping routes, and it’s preferred gateway status to China, have all combined powerfully to sustain the stellar trajectory of this Asian hub.
The business headlines this morning reaffirm the buoyancy for which Hong Kong has become renowned as “20 firms line up for Year – End IPO rush”. Hong Kong’s dynamic listings market continues to attract footloose international capital looking for investment opportunities and is set for a charge to the year end finishing line with listing hopefuls including Cinda Asset management’s $2.5bn offer, and Quinhuangdao Port’s $500 milion float, bringing the year end capital raised on the exchange to $100billion.
But connections with Britain and Jersey remain strong, with Jersey listings vehicles utilised on the Hong Kong, LSE and Aim markets, whilst Chinese nationals continue to favour Jersey Trusts and SPVs with over £90bn invested principally through real estate investment into the UK and Europe.
I will be welcoming leading figures from the Hong Kong business community to our advisory group gathering today and later this evening joining a ‘Locate Jersey’ hosted panel session on Jersey as a Gateway to Europe. On the 7th November I am speaking at the Financial Times IFC Asia Summit. More of that in tomorrow’s China diary.