Hong Kong Stock Exchange

If you are interested in trading on the Chinese stock market you can trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange or you can choose one of the mainland China Stock Exchanges. However, the Hong Kong Exchange has many advantages as it is the second largest in Asia, behind Tokyo, with over 1,350 companies listed in 2010 giving a total capitalization of around $2.3 trillion.

Trading In Hong Kong

When you trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) you can check your stocks and shares on the Hang Seng Index. Trading is all electronic, as you would expect, and the Exchange offers free information in real-time about basic securities market prices. This information is available online on certain designated websites. And as English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong, you will have no problem being able to communicate with dealers and brokers.

Listing In Hong Kong

One of the advantages of listing your company on the HKEx is that it gives you access to Chinese investors. It also offers companies based in Mainland China easy access to the international overseas markets. And with a strong legal system based in English common law, investors and companies alike can feel comfortable with something they are familiar with.
Another benefit of trading in Hong Kong is the free flow of capital and various tax advantages, as well as currency convertibility. In fact, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's US Dollar Clearing System allows settlement of US dollar transactions against Hong Kong dollars in real time in the Asian time zone. This is a real advantage as it helps reduce the foreign exchange fluctuations risk of settling accounts in the New York time zone some 12 hours later.

Trading Hours

One of the unusual features of the HKEx is its short trading hours. Unlike most stock markets, Hong Kong takes an extended lunch break in keeping with its colonial past. On the main market the regular trading hours are from 10.00am to 12.30pm and from 2.30pm to 4pm. There is a short pre-opening market session and some markets like gold futures do open for a full day of trading from 8.30am - 5pm but this is the exception. Because of adverse weather conditions in Hong Kong at certain times of the year, there are preset trading arrangements when there are black rainstorms and typhoons.

Visiting The Exchange

If you are visiting Hong Kong, why not have a look around the Exchange. They have an Exhibition Hall that is open to the public from 9.30am to 5pm on Trading Days. The hall not only has an exhibition about the history of the exchange but also has a viewing window so you can look down on the Trading Floor. As well as individual visitors, the Exchange welcomes pre-booked group tours.

There is quite a lot to see as securities have been traded in Hong Kong since the middle of the 19th century and an Association of Stockbrokers was first established in 1891. The Stock Exchange came together in its current form in 1947 and in with the event of computer assisted trading in 1986 a new chapter in the life of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange began.