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Hong Kong to keep stock market open during typhoons | Financial markets

Hong Kong to keep stock market open during typhoons |  Financial markets
Hong Kong to keep stock market open during typhoons |  Financial markets


City leader John Lee said the move would boost the competitiveness of the Asian financial hub.

Hong Kong is set to end its decades-long practice of shutting down the stock market during typhoons and extreme weather.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said the move was widely supported by the financial sector and would bring the financial hub in line with other markets, including mainland China.

Shenzhen and Shanghai now trade in bad weather. There is no reason why Hong Kong, as an international financial center, should not do the same, Lee told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.

Continuous trading in bad weather can strengthen the competitiveness of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, he added.

Hong Kong regularly faces typhoons between June and October, but authorities have warned residents to expect more powerful and unpredictable storms in the future due to climate change.

Last year, Hong Kong authorities issued the city's highest weather alert, T10, for only the 16th time since World War II, for super typhoon Saola.

Last year, however, 11 storms of typhoon intensity or higher were lower than the average of around 15 between 1961 and 2020, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

Hong Kong's stock market has suffered huge losses in recent years due to slowing growth in China and a crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous territory, which was promised unobtainable rights and freedoms on the Chinese mainland as a condition of its handover to Great Britain.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 2023 down 13.8%, recording its fourth consecutive year of decline.

Since 2019, the index has fallen more than 38 percent, even as stock markets in the United States, Japan and India have soared.

In January, the Indian stock market overtook Hong Kong to become the world's fourth-largest stock market, according to data from the World Federation of Securities Exchange.




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