The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the European Union Business Information Programme (EUBIP) hosted a breakfast session on 5 September at Club Lusitano, featuring members of the European Parliament and senior executives and leaders of the Hong Kong business community. I presented at the event on IPO opportunities in Hong Kong for European companies.
This delegation, in charge of the relations with the People’s Republic of China, was in an official visit to greater China (Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou), with the culmination of their trip in Hong Kong.
Mr Peter Cremers, the Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, introduced the event, emphasizing the importance of the EU institutions to this region.
Mr Simon Galpin, Director General of Invest Hong Kong, a government agency aiming at promoting the SAR world-wide, then kicked off the event with a comprehensive presentation of Hong Kong as a global business centre and as a financial hub. He pointed out the advantages of Hong Kong from a business perspective, also listing the challenges the market has to face and overcome, such as high real estate prices, and competition from other regions, amongst others.
– The audience at Club Lusitano –
In the financial arena, I elaborated on the recent trend of IPOs listed in Hong Kong, with a focus on European companies following this direction. Although not all corporations are suitable and ready for the process of being listed in Hong Kong, those which fulfil the criteria in terms of size (preferably MNCs), presence in greater China and significant turnover in the region, do find positive feedback for listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Companies such as Prada or L’ Occitane illustrate this trend, especially in industry sectors including retailing and luxury goods.
– Addressing the audience on IPO opportunities –
Following this overview of Hong Kong, Mr Crescenzio Rivellini, Chairman of the delegation from the European Parliament, introduced his team, explaining its functions and roles in international trade matters. Following the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament has strengthened its powers vis-à-vis the European Commission and now has a stronger voice in the external relations of the EU, with the power to approve or reject any proposal of trade agreement presented by the Commission, and also has the last say on EU budget. Mr Emilio Menéndez del Valle, together with Sir Graham Watson, both MEPs and members of the delegation, illustrated the message delivered by their Chairman with practical examples of how the Parliament functions in practice.
This discussion led to an interactive session with the audience and the event was finally closed by Ms Maria Castillo, the Head of the EU delegation to Hong Kong and Macau.