A delegation from Guernsey has been promoting the Island's investment funds and capital markets offering to the Hong Kong business community.
The team held an event to promote the fact that earlier this year Guernsey companies received approval to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx), visited the Hong Kong Companies Registry and Intellectual Property Office and attended the Asia Venture Capital Journal (AVCJ) Forum in Hong Kong.
The delegation was led by Carla McNulty Bauer, Minister of the Commerce and Employment Department.
The Minister said: "We are seeking to diversify the basis of our finance industry by attracting more business from the 'emerging' markets, including Hong Kong and this visit was an extremely important step in raising awareness of what Guernsey can offer, particularly in terms of company listings.
"A number of parties worked extremely hard to ensure that Guernsey received approval for locally incorporated companies to be able to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and so it was very pleasing to be given the green light in May. Now we have to increase awareness of what Guernsey can offer the Hong Kong business community in terms of both the capacity for our companies to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but also the fact that Guernsey can be used to access a range of European capital markets. Staging our own event in Hong Kong was a fantastic way to push this message out to the right audience and I was delighted with both the number of attendees and the feedback we received from delegates.
"Overall the visit was an extremely positive experience which further raised awareness in Hong Kong that Guernsey is a leading international finance centre which is well regulated, transparent and works to global standards in providing a wide range of financial products and services."
The event, titled Guernsey listings on HKEx, was held on Monday 7th November and attracted nearly 70 delegates to hear from the Commerce and Employment Minister, Fiona Le Poidevin, Deputy Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, and Paul Christopher, a Partner at Mourant Ozannes who has just moved from Guernsey to open the firm's new Hong Kong office.
The delegation in Hong Kong also included Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, Jarrod Cowley-Grimmond, Director of Finance Sector Development and Alan Bougourd, Registrar of Companies at the Guernsey Registry. Part of the visit also included meeting with Ada Chung Lai-ling, Registrar of Companies at the Hong Kong Companies Registry and Intellectual Property Office.
The team attending the AVCJ Forum between Tuesday 8th November and Thursday 10th November were joined by industry representatives from Guernsey-based firms who have offices in the region, including Ray Page of International Administration Group (IAG); Andy Chen from Trident Trust and Collas Crill's Sean Cheong. Law firm Ogier were also exhibiting at the event.
Miss Le Poidevin added: "This is the second year in a row that we have exhibited at the AVCJ Forum in Hong Kong. It is a very good opportunity to advertise Guernsey's credentials as a leading European private equity domicile among some 1,000 delegates, many of whom are Asian private equity managers or their advisers. What we found was that there was a broad spectrum of awareness about Guernsey, ranging from those who know very little of the Island right through to those who already use us for the structuring and administration of their funds.
"Certainly there seems to be a growing awareness of what we can offer and this is no doubt helped by the fact that local firms, such as Mourant Ozannes, are establishing offices in the centre. This also indicates that they believe there is business which can be attracted to the Island and indeed, I believe that there are already a couple of Hong Kong listings in the pipeline. These are very positive developments and now we will be looking to build on this momentum through the end of this year and during 2012."
The visit to Hong Kong came after a week of activity in Singapore, including attendance at the STEP Asia conference. The time in Hong Kong was followed by a visit to Shenzhen, China.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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