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Russia’s interest in Hong Kong comes due to business opportunities — official

January 20, 2015, 14:37 UTC+3 HONG KONG
Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor didn't rule out that anti-Russian sanctions are also pushing the companies towards searching for partners in the Asian direction
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© AP Photo/Kin Cheungtra

HONG KONG, January 20. /TASS/. The growing interest of Russian companies and banks towards Hong Kong has been prompted by the market potential rather than just Western sanctions, Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Kseniya Yudayeva said on Tuesday.

“Hong Kong is one of the major global financial centers and a window to the Asian financial market. That’s why the interest of Russian companies in this megalopolis is not surprising,” Yudayeva, who attends the Asian Financial forum (AFF) in Hong Kong, has said.

Yudayeva didn't rule out that anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the Western countries are also pushing the companies towards searching for partners in the Asian direction.

“As for sanctions, probably, this is one of the factors. But in fact, the interest for this region is linked to this market’s potential,” Yudayeva stressed, reminding that the first Russian initial public offering (IPO) at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by aluminum producer Rusal was held in 2010.

Yudayeva, who focuses on forecasting, strategy and financial stability, said Russian banks have been looking for entering the Hong Kong markets after major giants VTB, Gazprombank and Vnesheconombank opened branches there.

“Banks are always following companies. That’s why if the companies are interested in attracting money on this market, then other work-related issues may be solved. The most important is to have business interest. And as it is now growing, I think that in future Russian banks will work here,” Yudayeva said.

Yudayeva said she plans to hold talks with Hong Kong’s financial authorities to study the opportunities for boosting cooperation between the regulators.

“We will examine if special agreements are needed or it is enough to act in the framework of standard international agreements so that [Russian businesses] feel comfortable when working here,” she said.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region offered Russia to enhance partnership in infrastructure investment projects in mid-December. In particular, broader bilateral ties envisage prospects for Russia’s use of clearing settlements in yuan to bring down currency risks.

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