Asia and Pacific > Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China

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Mr. John Kiff, Alessandro Gullo, Mr. Cory Hillier, and Panagiotis Papapanagiotou
Back in 2009, G-20 leaders have called for all standardized over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs). By now, 18 of the 24 Financial Stability Board (FSB) member jurisdictions have provided for mandatory central clearing frameworks in place, covering at least 90 percent of all standardized OTC derivatives in their jurisdictions. However, the authorities in several countries remain confronted with the hows and wherefores of mandatory central clearing, also in light of the international dimension of OTC derivatives contracts. This paper examines the policy options available to countries that have yet to fully conform to the clearing mandate, centered on the setup of local CCPs or on the use of foreign CCPs, and elaborates on their feasibility, risks and benefits from an economic, legal and tax viewpoint.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) is a small and open economy, and a major international financial center with extensive linkages to Mainland China. Over the past two years, Hong Kong SAR’s economy and financial sector were adversely impacted by domestic social unrest, US-China tensions, and the global COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unprecedented two consecutive years of negative economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The HKFE Clearing Corporation Limited (HKCC) observes the CPSS/IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMI). It has a sound, coherent and transparent legal basis. As an integral part of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX Group), the HKCC has a comprehensive and adequate risk management framework to address financial, business, and operational risks. Participant assets as well as HKCC’s collaterals are safely kept in several banks and regulated central securities depositories. The credit and liquidity risks are minimized by having a robust risk management framework, including rigorous stress testing methodology and access to qualifying liquid resources. Furthermore, the HKCC has clear rules and procedures to handle and manage a participant’s default procedures. Moreover, the HKCC has established risk management framework to handle operational risk, including cyber risk, and business continuity management that addresses events posing significant risk of operational disruption.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The main macro-financial risks relate to extensive linkages to Mainland China, stretched real estate valuations, and exposure to shifts in global market and domestic risk sentiment, compounded by escalating U.S.-China tensions. Stress tests show that the financial system is resilient to severe macro-financial shocks, but there are pockets of vulnerabilities in foreign bank branches, investment funds, households, and nonfinancial corporates. Hong Kong SAR’s financial sector is also exposed to physical and transition risks from climate change.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented social and economic shock. The longest expansion in U.S. history has been derailed by the unanticipated advent of COVID-19. To preserve lives and support public health, it was necessary to put in place a broad-based shutdown of the U.S. economy in March. Despite the gradual easing of state lockdown restrictions and lifting of stay-at-home orders starting in late April, the collateral economic damage has been enormous. First, and foremost, as of July 16, more than 136,000 Americans have tragically lost their lives and many more have become seriously ill. Almost fifteen million Americans have lost their jobs, many small and large businesses are under financial stress, and future prospects are highly uncertain. Reopening decisions will have to be handled carefully to mitigate the economic costs while containing the ongoing rise in COVID-19 infection rates. It will likely take a prolonged period to repair the economy and to return activity to pre-pandemic levels. All in all, globally there will be difficult months and years ahead and it is of particular concern that the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is still rising.