Hong Kong is bolstering its capabilities and pursuinging new opportunities as it seeks to become a global hub for insurance, risk management and asset management as part of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, according to chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
Lam, who spoke virtually at the opening of the 15th Asian Financial Forum, held in Hong Kong on Monday, said that Hong Kong is offering tax incentives to select insurance businesses and has expanded the scope of insurable risk for Hong Kong-based captive insurers. In October, Hong Kong issued its first insurance-linked securities.
The city is also working to further develop and improve access to the insurance market of the Greater Bay area, which encompasses Hong Kong, Macau and several cities of Guangdong Province.
“We are working to establish after-sales service centres in the Greater Bay Area cities and preparing for early implementation of the unilateral recognition policy on cross-boundary motor vehicle insurance,” Lam said.
To boost Hong Kong’s appeal as an investment destination, Lam said it is diversifying its fund structures by introducing open-end investment companies and limited partnership fund regimes. This has led to almost 400 limited partnership funds being formed in Hong Kong over the past year or so, she said.
“We are also working to provide profit-tax exemptions for qualified onshore and offshore fund transactions and the carried interest of private equity funds operating in Hong Kong,” Lam said. “We are also considering tax concessions to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a family office hub.”
In his address, Xiao Yuanqi, vice-chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said that governments must work to contain surging inflation rates and mitigate supply-chain bottlenecks. Financial authorities must also carefully consider the timing and the size of fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing policies.