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Hong Kong hopes to be finance hub for China's Silk Road push: Xinhua

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 14:55
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Hong Kong could become the financing hub for companies connected with the so-called "One belt, One road" initiative to link Asia to Europe and Africa, the city's financial secretary John Tsang said in an interview with Xinhua, China's state news agency.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong could become the financing hub for companies connected with the so-called "One belt, One road" initiative to link Asia to Europe and Africa, the city's financial secretary John Tsang said in an interview with Xinhua, China's state news agency.

Mr Tsang said China's newly promoted Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) "has shown interest in using Hong Kong as a debt issuance centre", while Hong Kong could also offer finance, trade, logistics, commercial professional services and tourism to the over 60 countries along the route.

Recent volatility in mainland China stock markets may have dealt a blow to Shanghai and Shenzhen's ambitions to become a major international financial hubs, possibly giving Hong Kong some advantage, according to some bankers.

Hong Kong, which has the largest pool of offshore yuan funds and the capabilities to issue sukuk or Islamic bonds, could leverage these strengths under the "One Belt, One Road"strategy, Mr Tsang said.

China will encourage local companies to issue bonds overseas to fund projects to create a modern Silk Road, a plan to boost connectivity across Asia for which it has created a US$40 billion fund, according to an earlier Xinhua report.

REUTERS