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Budget 2022: Hong Kong budget aims to tighten financial and economic ties with mainland China

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po addressed the HK$170 billion budget for the city in today's speech, with considerable mentions on integrating Hong Kong’s economy into the mainland China market and national-level development. Strengthening Hong Kong as a financial centre to integrate with mainland development Hong Kong will enhance its status as an international financial centre in line with the 14th Five‑Year Plan by strengthening its status as an offshore renminbi hub and asset management centre, the Financial Secretary said in his budget speech today. “In the future, we will explore ways to further expand the channels for the two-way flow of cross- boundary RMB funds, as well as continue to promote the development of offshore RMB products, including introducing more diversified RMB wealth management products and bonds,” Financial Secretary, Paul Chan said . The city launched the Southbound Trading of Bond Connect and the Cross‑boundary Wealth Management Connect Scheme in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in September last year, which allows individual investors in the mainland to invest in offshore bonds through the Hong Kong bond market according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Chan said the government is exploring more enhancement measures for these investment initiatives, including expanding quotas and scope of eligible investment products, inviting more companies to participate, and improving distribution. The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited will study and implement a pilot plan for infrastructure financing securitization within the year. According to the plan, the corporation is expected to issue infrastructure financing securitization products worth about HK$ 35.1 trillion (US$450 million) in the institutional market next year. “On the one hand, the local infrastructure financing market will be more vigorous and diversified, and at the same time, market capital will be introduced into high-quality infrastructure projects,” Chan said. Chan also proposed to set up …


Party rooms break COVID rules

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Alice Wan、Anson So、Michael Wong、Willison MakEdited by: Jasmine Tse
  • 2021-02-15

The Hong Kong government ordered the closure of party rooms on Nov. 22  last year after an outbreak linked to the Starlight dance club. But some party rooms have since neglected the restrictions and continued to serve customers as usual. Kt_partyroom in Kwun Tong, for example, is still available for booking through direct messaging on Instagram. “If you do not want to reserve the entire room (minimum price of HK$2,500) and there is another group of customers that night, you need to share the room with strangers,” the owner told us on the chat. We were able to make a reservation for Nov. 25,  three days after the government suspension on party rooms took into effect. Some party rooms allow more than four people to gather despite ban According to the Hong Kong Party Room Association Facebook post, a party room is defined as a place that provides physical indoor venues for short-term commercial lease for private events, be it leisure, entertainment or for business. The premises must be independent premises with a fixed address in Hong Kong. Reservations are necessary and they must not provide accommodation, food or sell alcohol. Government regulations on party rooms have changed repeatedly since March, but many ignore the rules and allow more guests than what’s legal under social distancing measures.     Photo credit: Partyroom_monster’s Instagram In October, when social distancing rules were already in effect, more than 20 people, none of them wearing masks, posted photos of their gathering on Instagram. They proudly said that the premises were 200 square feet, with karaoke, mahjong and more. Many were holding drinks. On Feb. 12, 11 out of 19 people in a family tested positive for COVID-19. They were all in the “Hot Pot Party Room Group”. Lam Hon Yin, president of the Hong …