A panoramic view of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in southwestern Shenzhen, Guangdong province. MAO SIQIAN/XINHUA
Financial institutions expect a boom in the cross-border capital market of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the deepening of the financial sector's opening-up and reform in the area.
Their comments come after national financial authorities and the Guangdong provincial government on Thursday jointly released two documents underlining financial support for the development of Qianhai in Shenzhen and Hengqin in Zhuhai, both in Guangdong province.
They foresee the implementation of the new measures will further unleash demand for cross-border financial services in the GBA and create broad development opportunities for financial institutions.
Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said through a video link at a news conference held simultaneously in the two zones on Friday that the financial support policies should strengthen infrastructure connectivity among financial markets, with financial innovations to better serve people's livelihoods as the priority, especially in facilitating Hong Kong and Macao residents' financing, employment and local utilization of mobile payment tools.
For example, banks in Qianhai can explore through videos the process of opening credit cards remotely, while the scale of opening mainland bank accounts through the use of a witness service in Hong Kong will be further expanded to more pilot banks.
Other financial connectivity measures include branches of Hong Kong and Macao banks in Qianhai and Hengqin being allowed to access Hong Kong and Macao residents' credit standings under their consent, in order to provide credit services.
Infrastructure connectivity among financial markets should also be strengthened, including cross-border insurance and capital flows, he said. A GBA insurance service center and a bond platform are in the pipeline.
Eligible financial institutions in Qianhai are also given the nod to explore cross-border securities investments.
"Innovative measures have been put forward in various fields such as financial services for people's livelihoods, expanding the opening of the financial industry and renminbi internationalization, which will help further improve the level of cross-border financial services in the GBA and provide support for the deep integration of the area's economy," said David Liao, HSBC co-chief executive.
"The measures will promote financial interconnection in the GBA and strengthen financial regulatory cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which will lay the foundation for the convergence of financial rules and mechanisms in the area, and allow the exploration of new paths for the high-level opening up of the mainland's financial industry," Liao added.
Zhou Xing, deputy general manager of China Merchants Financial Holdings, noted that the new measures would enable the financial conglomerate to provide better cross-border financial services for Hong Kong residents, and also provide cross-border financial support to many of its corporate customers.
Zhou added that there will be huge business opportunities in cross-border remittance, securities business and venture capital fund-raising activities.