Hong Kong is one of the world’s most globalized economies, with international trading playing a dominant role in its economic success.
Hong Kong uses bonds as an essential source of capital. The issuing and trading of government bonds contribute to economic growth, allowing the Hong Kong Government to meet financial needs by borrowing external funds on international money markets.
Bonds are generally low risk, but performance can fluctuate depending on external factors such as interest rates.
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Reducing government interest payments on outstanding debt should provide more funds for other public programs. Less reliance on overseas borrowing also reduces future currency risks related to U.S. dollar-denominated debts.
Greater availability of debt instruments will encourage participation from foreign investors, which could stimulate economic activity in various industries such as property development”. More financing options means borrowers can take advantage of lower costs or more flexible repayment plans.
This past August, foreign investors accounted for approximately 32% of all outstanding Hong Kong bonds. A more potent, more liquid bond market will allow that number to grow even larger going forward.
Healthy bond market
Of course, a healthy bond market also makes it easier for local companies with good credit ratings to raise capital.
This would seem to apply mainly to small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), which make up 99.7% of Hong Kong’s registered businesses.
These SMEs employ 70% of H.K.’s labour force and contribute 18% of H.K.’s GDP.
To improve their productivity, many are calling on the government to provide more assistance in low-interest loans or grants.
In addition, some overseas investment into local stocks and bonds through derivatives. This will likely result in increased overseas demand for HK-listed equities and debtOpening up bond markets to greater participation may also make it easier for the Hong Kong Government to issue its bonds in foreign currencies (e.g., U.S. Dollars).
This would give issuers more flexibility when it comes time to repay their debts, especially with interest rates in the U.S. expected to rise in 2015
The HKMA’s decision is just one example of how Hong Kong is gradually opening its financial markets through increased liberalization and international collaboration with other regulators worldwide.
The decision should also help to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an essential financial centre in Asia.
Advantages of trading bonds on the Hong Kong economy
To take advantage of this opportunity and ensure continued long-term growth, the HKMA is consulting with various stakeholders in the private sector on what other changes could be made to open up its bond market further.
The next step will be for local businesses and the government to embrace new opportunities from increased participation in bond markets. That could translate into a boom for Hong Kong’s economy over time with a bit of luck.
Disadvantages of trading bonds on the Hong Kong economy
The main disadvantage of trading bonds in Hong Kong is that it doesn’t offer many growth opportunities. If you compare Hong Kong’s GDP growth rate (2.3%) to China (7.6%) and India (5%), then you can see that this market has very little room for further growth.
This is especially true because other countries like Canada, Australia, and Sweden have even lower percentage rates than Hong Kong. This indicates a low demand and interest from investors looking to make money.
Another problem is that bond securities usually do not offer good returns compared with stocks or properties. There isn’t much demand for them because they don’t offer much in terms of returns, and therefore, the market is relatively small.
The other issue is that government bonds attract a lot of speculation and manipulation through derivatives trading because traders can make a quick buck by betting against countries. This isn’t good for the economy as it only serves to create more debt and instability.
This also doesn’t give them much time before they need to repay their debts, putting pressure on the individual investor who may not be able to hold out for such a short period.
There are many problems with trading bonds in the Hong Kong economy which will hopefully change over time. As long as companies can gain easier access to financing options that meet their requirements, this should translate into more economic activity.
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