Hong Kong bets on summit to herald its comeback as financial hub

HONG KONG, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Hong Kong aims to restore its standing as a world wide money hub by playing host to a bevy of best Wall Road executives this 7 days, defying critics who say a talent crunch and geopolitical tensions will hobble its ambition.

The large-profile summit is the very first in almost 3 yrs in the city considering the fact that anti-governing administration protests, the imposition of a sweeping countrywide security regulation and demanding COVID-19 curbs weakened its position as a premier economic centre.

The World wide Economical Leaders Expense Summit starts on Wednesday with contributors which includes Goldman Sachs (GS.N) Main Government David Solomon, Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman, HSBC’s (HSBA.L) Noel Quinn and Regular Chartered’s (STAN.L) Monthly bill Winters.

Alongside the principal concept of “navigating by uncertainty”, the summit is broadly envisioned to emphasis on Hong Kong’s ambition to continue being a global fiscal centre after practically three a long time of border controls and pandemic restrictions.

For international monetary companies operating in China and Hong Kong, on the other hand, navigating tensions among the United States and China and a depleting pool of expertise in what is touted as “Asia’s globe metropolis” will keep on to confirm challenging, analysts stated.

“The Hong Kong government’s overarching target is obvious: to build the narrative that the city has reopened,” reported Chris Beddor, Gavekal Dragonomics’ deputy China exploration director.

World wide banks are enjoying their cards fairly well in the deal with of tougher political atmosphere, he said, nevertheless there has been a shift among the expatriate workforce from Hong Kong to other destinations, this sort of as Singapore.

“The geopolitical problem has deteriorated speedily in excess of the earlier two yrs or so, and the political surroundings in China has clearly shifted as perfectly, each of which present tough-to-quantify prolonged-time period dangers.”

Underscoring the tension, two U.S. lawmakers past week urged prime American bankers to terminate their attendance, saying participation would add to human rights abuses by China’s govt. Beijing rejects accusations of rights abuses.

COVID-19 CONTROLS

The two-day summit, organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) – the de-facto central bank – saw at minimum two significant-profile cancellations due to the fact of COVID-19.

Blackstone (BX.N) President Jonathan Grey will not show up at right after screening good for the virus, and will be changed by finance main Michael Chae, a spokesperson mentioned on Monday.

Citigroup (C.N) CEO Jane Fraser will also not attend thanks to COVID-19 an infection, Reuters noted on Thursday.

An current programme, necessary mainly because of alternative of a little amount of speakers forced to terminate primarily because of “unforeseen individual conditions” will be unveiled on Tuesday, HKMA said in a statement late on Monday.

The city’s Money Secretary Paul Chan, one particular of the principal speakers, also contracted COVID-19 in the course of a pay a visit to to Saudi Arabia , the govt stated last 7 days. Chan, on the other hand, afterwards examined negative and is expected to return to Hong Kong on Tuesday, a govt assertion explained on Monday.

Contributors will search for reassurances of a return to pre-pandemic normality, making it simpler for them to appeal to staff to Hong Kong.

HKMA head Eddie Yue explained to a community newspaper last 7 days the party would send out a crystal clear concept that “Hong Kong is back again”, and it would be the “fireworks which draw the eyeballs of international talent”.

“I completely concur that the conference hopefully can be a quite wonderful fireworks display screen,” said Gary Ng, Hong Kong-based senior economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis. “But it relies upon on what occurs just after.”

Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Kane Wu and Selena Li in Hong Kong Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee, Christopher Cushing, Kirsten Donovan and Tomasz Janowski

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Belief Concepts.

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