Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) this week announced Chow Chung-kong was elected as its new chairman at its AGM, as well as releasing its quarterly report on stocks and derivatives, which showed a 15% rise in equities volumes over the previous quarter.
Chow, 61, is the former chief executive of Hong Kong’s MTR subway operator and a director at Standard Chartered. He is to take over as chairman from Ronald Arculli, who stepped down after serving the maximum of six years permitted in the post. Monday’s AGM also elected Arculli to continue to serve on the HKEx board. Chow’s appointment, for a two-year term, must still be approved by the city’s government, who choose half of the HKEx board.
A resolution to increase annual remuneration for the chairman and other non-executive directors from HK$600,000 (US$77,323)to HK$900,000 (US$115,985) per annum was passed by more than 95.5%. Other resolutions, including appointments and a repurchase of HKEx shares by the operator, were passed by similar margins.
HKEx, the world’s second-biggest exchange operator by capitalisation behind Chicago’s CME, will continue to leverage its connections with China in attracting global capital looking to access the growing mainland market, according to Chow.
“We continue to look for opportunities coming from China’s economic development and policies,” Chow told reporters after his appointment.
Hong Kong kept its position as the world’s largest IPO market in 2011, the third year in succession it has held the title, though its share of global IPO issues fell.
The exchange recently announced the roll-out of renminbi futures for the third quarter of this year, allowing investors to hedge exposure to the Chinese currency, as it looks to compete with bourses such as CME that already offer yuan-denominated products.
HKEx is also to add 30 names to its list of designated stocks that may be short sold from this Friday, while removing 21 names from the list. This will increase the total number of stocks for short selling to 646.
The value of shares short sold on HKEx in the first quarter of this year was almost unchanged from the previous quarter at HK$324,025 million (US$41,758 million).
Average daily volumes on HKEx for the January to March quarter were HK$44,652 million (US$5,754 million), up from HK$38,694 million (US$4,987 million) in the final quarter of last year, but still well down on the HK$53,470 million (US$6,890 million) of the corresponding quarter in 2011. The average value of each trade was also up on the previous quarter but down on the same quarter last year.
The total volume of derivatives contracts for the quarter was 30,106,876, down from 34,438,964 in the previous quarter.
Total capitalisation for listed companies on the HKEx in the first quarter was HK$19,690,708 million (US$2,537,593 million), up from HK$17,452,667 million (US$2,249,170 million) in the previous quarter.