Author: Johanan Devanesan

Author

Joe Devanesan

Johanan Devanesan is a Senior Writer for Fintech News Hong Kong.

The financial epicentre of Asia is poised to resonate once again with the vibrant synergy of leaders, innovators, and visionaries at the 17th iteration of the Asian Financial Forum (AFF), returning to the bustling cityscape of Hong Kong on the 24th and 25th of January, 2024. Jointly organised by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 2024 edition of the Asian Financial Forum will continue to build upon its previous editions and set new milestone in bringing discussions from as Asian perspective at the start of 2024. A Retrospective: The…

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As part of its forward-looking “Fintech 2025” strategy, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is preparing for the advent of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), aiming to enhance Hong Kong’s capacity to issue CBDCs at both wholesale and retail levels, thereby stimulating financial innovation within the region. The HKMA commenced its exploration into retail CBDCs with Project e-HKD in 2021, diving into the global conversation with active participation in cross-jurisdictional collaborations. “Given the plethora of convenient retail payment options in Hong Kong, an e-HKD would need to add unique value to the current payment ecosystem, for instance, by providing new…

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Since their inception in 2016,  e-wallets in Hong Kong which operate under Stored Value Facilities (SVFs) licensing have rapidly expanded, with the market now served by an intriguing mix of thirteen non-bank licensees, plus four traditional banks that also operate SVFs. Of these seventeen, six have emerged as full-service e-wallets offering a comprehensive range of payment functionalities in Hong Kong. This includes facilitating peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions both online and offline. Octopus, Alipay HK, WeChat Pay, Tap & Go, PayMe, and BoC Pay are the six significant players in this segment. Hong Kong e-Wallets Achieving Critical Mass According…

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With a dedicated and longstanding commitment to an innovation-enabled financial landscape, the fintech jobs environment in Hong Kong is significantly developed and advanced. The territory has gained significant attention by focusing on developing intricate systems for digital banking, finance, insurance, fintech regulation, and market-to-market wealth management activities. Since its economic upswing in the 1960s, Hong Kong has also drawn a vast number of international investors. A prosperous business environment, sophisticated infrastructure and a competitive job market continue to make the region appealing for those looking for new job opportunities abroad in emerging fields such as fintech. Hong Kong’s Advanced Fintech…

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The latest edition of the Hong Kong Green and Sustainable Debt Market Briefing reveals a significant surge in labeled green bonds arranged in Hong Kong in 2022, despite an overall decrease in the volume of green, social, sustainability, sustainability linked, and transition (GSS+) bonds issued by Hong Kong issuers. This growth highlights the increasing importance of Hong Kong as a regional and international hub for green and sustainable finance. According to the report, co-produced by the Climate Bonds Initiative in collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA), with support from Standard…

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In the ever-evolving landscape of banking, even developed markets like Hong Kong face changing customer demands that traditional banks may struggle to meet. This has created an opportunity for digital banks to step in and offer highly personalized and digital experiences. However, despite their potential, all eight digital banks in Hong Kong have yet to turn a profit since their introduction in 2020. A report by Quinlan & Associates explored the factors hindering digital banks’ profitability in Hong Kong and examined what those banks are doing to leverage their advantages to overturn negative balance sheets in the coming years. Challenges…

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New regulations governing cryptocurrency exchanges came into force in Hong Kong on 1st June, now allowing these crypto platforms to cater to retail customers, provided they attain and comply with licences aimed at improving investor safeguards. In order for digital asset exchanges to legally function in Hong Kong, they must abide by a multitude of rules, ranging from guaranteeing the safekeeping of assets to the avoidance of conflicts of interest, as well as meeting cybersecurity standards. The new framework also mandates these exchanges to establish and implement exposure limits for their retail clientele, and only permit trading in tokens that…

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The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has urged the banking sector to provide services to licensed virtual-asset firms as part of the city’s ambition to become a leading crypto hub. Last week, the Hong Kong financial regulator issued a circular reminding banks of their responsibility to offer access to legitimate crypto businesses. The HKMA emphasised the need for a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts. The statement also called for banks to train staff, create dedicated teams to support the digital-asset sector, and proactively engage with new technology-enabled sectors. This approach is intended to strengthen…

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Hong Kong has been a key financial centre in Asia and around the world, but it faces fierce competition from Singapore. In recent years, Singapore has emerged as a major fintech hub and has attracted multinational and Chinese companies, as well as high-net-worth individuals to set up family offices.  In the Global Financial Centers Index, Singapore was ranked as the top financial centre in Asia and the third globally, while Hong Kong was ranked fourth globally and second in Asia. To revitalise its status as a global financial centre, Hong Kong needs to focus on emerging areas of financial services…

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It has been a tumultuous couple of years for the bustling fintech scene as well as Web3 startups in Hong Kong. As the world grappled with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, US-China tensions, and Hong Kong itself came to terms with street protests that saw its autonomy as a critical financial hub in the Asia Pacific region called into question, the island-state has still managed to grow its fintech startup ecosystem from strength to strength in the intervening years. In fact, Hong Kong’s fintech landscape rose from eighth to among the top five in the world between 2020 and…

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