Accelerating yuan internationalization strengthens HK’s status as financial hub
Published: Apr 16, 2023 09:20 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

The Hong Kong stock market is expediting the process of adding Chinese yuan pricing and settlement services, with 12 industry giants listed in the market, including Xiaomi and, submitting an application to launch a yuan counter for trading, Chinese financial newspaper Shanghai Securities News reported on Saturday. 

Most of the 12 companies are leading companies in their sectors, in particular, many are high-tech giants, and their trading volume ranks high in the Hong Kong stock market. As they first start launching yuan pricing and settlement services, the impacts of exchange rate fluctuations and other potential financial risks on investors' stock returns are expected to be reduced. 

In addition, most of these 12 companies are blue-chip stocks. With higher popularity and market value, their leading moves are expected to have a ripple effect on more companies listed in Hong Kong.

Under the mutual access channels, yuan counter is being explored under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. By accelerating the implementation of yuan counter, Hong Kong is expected to strengthen its position as a world-class asset and wealth management center and financial center amid Western banking woes and more potential financial risks caused by the US' irresponsible monetary policy.

For a long time, some doomsayers in the US and other Western countries have spared no effort to slander Hong Kong's status as a financial center and launch vicious attacks on it. 

For instance, the US media outlet said in March that Hong Kong's prosperity and its status as a global financial hub are at risk, claiming "removing the US dollar peg of the Hong Kong dollar and replacing it with a peg to the yuan could result in capital controls being placed on Hong Kong, reducing its viability as a financial center."

The US exerted unreasonable pressure to discourage senior management of some large financial companies from participating in the Hong Kong's financial conference held in the city in November 2022, according to media reports. What is almost certain is that some Western countries will not stop attempting to disrupt Hong Kong's financial and economic development for some time to come.

However, any attempt to undermine Hong Kong's status as a financial center is a waste of time. In the plight of the Western banking industry, Hong Kong's status as a global financial center has been enhanced, strongly crushing all these nonsense. Furthermore, the accelerated development of yuan internationalization will continue to help strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial center.

Hong Kong's economic and financial connection with the Chinese mainland has become a unique advantage for its financial industry. The city remains the world's largest offshore yuan hub with deposits of nearly 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion) as of the end of 2022. About 75 percent of offshore yuan settlements are conducted in Hong Kong. The usage volume of offshore yuan will continue to increase as yuan settlement increasingly gains popularity and yuan internationalization makes progress. Yuan internationalization provides Hong Kong with huge development opportunities in offshore yuan businesses.

Hong Kong has also been a bridge connecting the mainland and the international financial market. The city is the most important channel for international investors to invest in the mainland market, and is also an important transit point for mainland funds to enter the international financial market. 

As measures such as yuan pricing and settlement in the Hong Kong stock market further advance along the trend of yuan internationalization, Hong Kong's role as a financial bridge connecting the Chinese mainland and global capital markets will also be further strengthened. 

Hong Kong will elevate its international competiveness and advantages through the economic recovery of the mainland. The solid support of the motherland will always be the source of the city's greatest core competitiveness.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.