The financial markets of Hong Kong have become increasingly intertwined with the mainland through the years, with the launch of the Shenzhen Connect in December last year an example of ongoing developments.
Of the 1,995 companies listed on Hong Kong’s main board and Growth Enterprise Market in 2016, 989 were mainland companies, according to data from the Hong Kong Exchange. In comparison, there were just 856 Hong Kong companies.
“About 60 percent of Hong Kong (listed) companies are actually from mainland China. Twenty years ago, it was about twenty percent. If you look at the IPO market last year, 92 percent were mainland companies,” Noah Holdings Hong Kong CIO William Ma told CNBC’s Street Signs: Asia Friday.
Back in June 1996, six of the 33 names on the Hang Seng Index were British-controlled, the South China Morning Post reported, citing HSBC and Swire Group as examples. Only two of the remaining 27 companies were mainland Chinese enterprises – Citic and Guangdong Investment.
While some Hong Kongers are downbeat over what they see as the increasing reliance of Hong Kong on the mainland, others believe the closer financial linkages between the two could prove to be symbiotic.
“In addition to (Hong Kong) just bringing foreign investors to China, there’s also the Chinese markets and Chinese investment going out (like) the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative … I think that will create more opportunities for Hong Kong in the future,” said Wang Tao, the head of Asian economic research at UBS Investment Bank.