The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) published its sixth annual report which reviews the work for the fiscal year ending in March this year. Throughout the year, the Council issued in total five reports covering the aspects of maritime leasing, digital identification and know-your-customer utilities, environmental, social and governance strategy, life insurance, and MPF system.

Laurence Li, Chairman of the FSDC, said that in the future, more research will be conducted on such areas as development in the Greater Bay Area, innovation and technology, insurance, asset and wealth management, sustainable finance and professional services, so as to capitalise on Hong Kong’s competitive advantage as an international financial centre. Chief Executive Christopher Hui added that after its incorporation as a limited company last year, the FSDC had more flexibility in performing its functions on policy research, marketing and talent development.

When asked about the impact of recent social events on the development of financial markets, Laurence Li believes that Hong Kong as an international financial centre has its accumulated advantages and foundations for many years, and does not worry about the immediate impact. Yet the long-term impact is still subject to assessment over time. He also pointed out that there is no big capital outflow as a result of political events and the industry as a whole still holds a wait-and-see attitude. Some investors also hope to further understand the situation in Hong Kong.

In light of Budweiser which suspends its IPO, Bonnie Chan, Board Member of the FSDC, believes that it is an individual incident and there are still many companies which have submitted applications for IPO recently. She pointed out that the FSDC proposed to shorten the settlement cycle as early as 2014. The HKEX and the Securities and Futures Commission have also followed up, but they have been subject to technical problems. She pointed out that the authorities have proposed a mature plan last year and hope to implement it this year.