Category Archives: Hang Seng Bank

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Hong Kong on the Lookout for Blockchain Professionals

Hong Kong is ramping up its blockchain profile and, as a result, has announced that it will be needing more industry professionals to support its DLT focus in the years to come through a new employment program.

A “talent list” has been issued by The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in which it states that it needs “quality people from around the world in a more effective and focused manner to support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy”. Among the 11 professions on the new list are those with DLT skills.

This isn’t really surprising given the new focus on innovation and technology China’s Administrative Region, given a recent push that’s seen the promotion of blockchain in the public arena through generous grants to its local universities of USD 20 million for blockchain and fintech research.

Education is not the only area to benefit from this heightened interest in new financial tech in Hong Kong, as a government-led cross-bank cooperation project was announced recently, thought to be the largest of its kind globally. It will include UK banking giant HSBC and Standard Chartered PLC. Other banks involved are said to be one of Australia’s big four, ANZ, and four Asian banks, BOC Hong Kong Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia Ltd and Singapore’s DBS Holdings Ltd.

The new scheme designed to build on these recent developments. The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) will have an annual quota of 1,000 applicants, although it is unclear exactly what percentage of these will be connected to fintech. Applicants will have the advantage under the scheme of settling in Hong Kong without a specific job offer, enabling them to come to Hong Kong, then seek employment in their specialized sector.

The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, wants to target internationally bred skills and talent. He commented:

“Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here, bringing their talent into full play and further developing their careers… stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.”

The fact that DLT know-how has been listed as a required skill is a positive outcome for the industry in the region given China’s continued prohibitive stance regarding cryptocurrency-related activities.

 

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1 in 4 Hong Kong Residents Would Invest in Crypto

A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Blockchain Association (HKBA) has revealed that 23% of Hong Kong residents would consider investing in cryptocurrencies, given a recession.

The response was based on the fact that many respondents anticipated a downturn in the world economy within the next year. Reportedly, a large portion of those surveyed would consider investing in cryptocurrency, despite their current concerns about digital currencies outweighing their potential advantages.

Regulation was an issue with almost 60% of respondents, many of them indicating that clear regulations and proper licensing laws were needed for cryptocurrency exchanges. Some suggested that examples such as Japan and Singapore were models worthy of Hong Kong regulators worth considering.

Of the 46% suggesting that hardship may be around the corner due to an economic downturn, some would consider investing in cryptocurrency. A quarter of all those surveyed suggested they would invest but only in times of economic hardship but currently have no need.

In other news from the country, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the region’s currency board and central bank, is launching a live blockchain-based trading platform in September, backed by HSBC, Bank of China, ANZ, DBS Bank, Bank of East Asia, and the Hang Seng Bank. Howard Lee, HKMA’s deputy chief executive, has suggested that it will be the largest multi-bank blockchain project of its kind in Hong Kong.

The Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list was released earlier this year with many of the drivers in the financial world located in Asia. The list showcased a new generation of talent from venture capital to the latest disruptive digital technologies. Many of this year’s nominees had embraced cryptocurrency ventures.

Two on this year’s list are Ryan Zhou, 23, and Myunghun Cha, 28. Zhou founded Australian personal finance platform Coinjar, simplifying the trading of Bitcoin which now has a turnover of USD 758 million with 350,000 members.

South Korean Cha founded Coinone, now one of the country’s largest exchanges trading around USD 10 billion a month and earning over USD 70 billion in 2017.

 

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7 Banks to Form Trade Finance Blockchain Platform in Hong Kong

Seven banks including Hong Kong’s banking regulator are to launch a trade finance platform this September using blockchain.

The platform is reported to be one of the largest government-led cross-bank cooperation globally. It will include UK banking giant HSBC and Standard Chartered PLC. HSBC is the seventh largest bank globally by assets and the largest in Europe; Standard Chartered is a London-based bank with businesses across Asia.

Other banks involved are said to be one of Australia’s big four, ANZ, and four Asian banks, BOC Hong Kong Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia Ltd and Singapore’s DBS Holdings Ltd.

The financial sector has been increasingly under the microscope both by private companies and government bodies, who are beginning to regard blockchain technology as a way of modernizing record keeping and speeding up payments, in what is often described as an overly paper-driven industry, particularly given the technologies available in 2018.

The cross-bank project has been proposed to alleviate exactly some of these institutional operating issues, as Howard Lee deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) explained. The main focus will be the digitalization of documentation and automating processes. Lee added that the group will want to “link up with other trade platforms in other jurisdictions to further facilitate cross-border trades”.

It appears that banks, at one time shunning blockchain due to in part to its connection with Bitcoin and Ethereum, are coming around to seeing the advantages of integrating the technology into upgrading financial systems.

The multi-bank platform will not be the first official blockchain encounter for HSBC. Along with Dutch giant ING, the two banks are reported to have made the world’s first trade finance transaction using blockchain earlier in May.

In China, The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) published a research paper on Tuesday, which analyzed the use of DLT in various stages of a security transaction. The SSE is one of the two stock exchanges operating independently in the People’s Republic of China and is the world’s third-largest stock market by market capitalization.

 

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