Hong Kong bolsters bid as insurance, risk management hub

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Hong Kong is building capacity and pursuing new opportunities as it seeks to become a global hub for insurance, risk management and asset management under China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, chief executive says 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 Hong Kong provided tax incentives to some insurance companies and expanded the scope of insurable risks for captive insurers based in Hong Kong. In October, Hong Kong issued its first insurance bonds.

The city is also working to develop and improve access to the insurance market in the Greater Bay Area, which encompasses Hong Kong, Macau and several cities in Guangdong province.

“We are working to establish after-sales service centers in cities in the Greater Bay Area and prepare for the rapid implementation of the policy of unilateral recognition of cross-border auto insurance,” Lam said.

To boost Hong Kong’s attractiveness as an investment destination, Lam said he was diversifying his fund structures by introducing open-ended investment companies and limited partnership fund regimes. This has led to the establishment of nearly 400 limited partnership funds in Hong Kong over the past year, she said.

“We are also working to provide profit tax exemptions for qualifying onshore and offshore fund transactions and carried interest from private equity funds operating in Hong Kong,” Lam said. “We are also considering tax breaks to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a wealth management hub.”

In his remarks, Xiao Yuanqi, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said governments should strive to contain soaring inflation rates and ease bottlenecks in the supply chain. Financial authorities should also carefully consider the timing and extent of fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing policies.

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