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Government welcomes pilot scheme for Mainland individuals to invest directly in HK securities

    The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang and the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Mr Joseph Yam, have welcomed the pilot scheme announced by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)  for Mainland individuals to invest directly in securities in Hong Kong.

     Under the scheme, resident individuals can use foreign currency funds of their own or those converted from renminbi to invest in securities listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

     The Action Agenda on "China's 11th Five-Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong" published early this year has proposed a greater use of Hong Kong's financial platform to facilitate orderly outflows of funds from the Mainland, including the permission of Mainland individuals to remit "self-owned" foreign currency funds out of the Mainland and make investments offshore without going through QDII scheme (Recommendation F2-11, or the "free-walk" scheme for funds in short).  The HKSAR Government has been following up with the Mainland authorities since the publication of the Action Agenda.The HKMA has  been in discussion with the People's Bank of China (PBoC) and SAFE on the operational details of the "free-walk" scheme.  The pilot scheme announced by SAFE is a concrete response to the recommendation.

     Mr Tsang said the pilot scheme was in line with the Mainland's policy objective of allowing orderly outflows of funds.  "The use of Hong Kong's financial platform for Mainland individuals to invest in securities offshore is a clear demonstration of the mutually-assisting, complementary and inter-active relationship between the financial systems of the Mainland and Hong Kong.  It will help to enhance the status  of Hong Kong as an international financial centre," Mr Tsang said.

     Mr Yam said the pilot scheme was conducive to the interaction and the mutual development of the financial markets in Hong Kong and the Mainland.  "The HKMA will continue to work with the PBoC, SAFE and other Mainland authorities on measures to strengthen the links and interaction of the financial markets in the two places, thereby increasing their overall size and efficiency," he said.

Ends/Monday, August 20, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:45


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