HONG KONG: Hong Kong is planning to develop an Islamic bond market, seeking to tap Middle Eastern and other Islamic investors eying opportunities in China, Financial Secretary John Tsang said on Monday.
The Islamic financial market globally is worth an estimated US$1 trillion and is expected to grow by 15 percent a year, Tsang told an investment conference.
“Islamic finance is an important element of the global financial system,” he said. “For Hong Kong to be a major international financial centre — not just in the region, but globally — then Islamic finance must be among our portfolio of products and services.”
With many investors in the Middle East eying opportunities in China, Hong Kong was best placed to offer Islamic investment products to meet the needs of mainland Chinese enterprises and Middle Eastern investors, he said. Hong Kong’s arch-rival Singapore, along with London, Bahrain and Dubai all covet leadership in the huge market, while Brunei wants to become a regional hub in Islamic finance, taking advantage of its oil wealth and its geographic location. reuters