Gold futures and options are likely to be launched on the Hong
Kong exchange this year, pending regulatory approval.
The exchange also plans to bring in depository receipts in the
third quarter, similar to those in the United States, to allow more
overseas companies to list on the world's second largest listed
Gold products will be launched first, said Paul Chow, chief
executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx),
"With the approval of the Securities and Futures Commission, the
products can probably be launched by the end of this year," he
The Shanghai Futures Exchange launched gold futures last week.
But Chow declined to comment on whether Hong Kong is lagging
behind. "Hong Kong and the mainland are two different markets," he
Chow added that the mainland's gold futures market targets local
buyers, while Hong Kong is open to global investors.
Bruce Wong, Taifook Securities forex and bullion research
director, said demand for gold is higher than for other commodities
in Hong Kong, so it's appropriate for HKEx to launch gold futures
and options first.
Compared with Shanghai, Wong said: "The Hong Kong market can
attract Asian investors. We have not been left behind."
HKEx will also seek more foreign listings on the bourse this
Chow said the exchange would likely introduce a depository
receipt scheme in the third quarter.
"The program is an alternative for foreign firms to list stock
in Hong Kong," he said, denying that the plan was a response to the
lack of big listings from mainland firms.
HKEx officials visited Vietnam, Malaysia and India last year to
promote Hong Kong.
Patrick Shum, executive director of Karl Thomson Investment,
said allowing foreign companies to list via depositary receipt was
a good move that would benefit local investors and could draw
global companies like IBM, Citigroup and Apple.
(China Daily January 17, 2008)