Hong Kong Bourse Taps City’s Former Top Financial Regulator as New Chairman
Wang Fangran
DATE:  Apr 26 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Hong Kong Bourse Taps City’s Former Top Financial Regulator as New Chairman Hong Kong Bourse Taps City’s Former Top Financial Regulator as New Chairman

(Yicai) April 26 -- Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the company that runs Asia’s third-biggest stock market, has named Carlson Tong, former chairman of the city’s financial regulator, as its new chairman.

Tong succeeds Laura Cha, the bourse announced on April 24. The financial markets veteran has been an independent non-executive director at HKEX for a year. His appointment as chairman is subject to approval by the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

HKEX operates in a dynamic and evolving environment that presents both challenges and opportunities, Tong said in a statement.

While factors such as geopolitics and interest rates are beyond HKEX’s control, he said, the bourse must get ready to seize opportunities when the external environment improves, further enrich its product range, bolster trading mechanisms, and enhance market competitiveness.

Tong, 69, was chairman of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission from 2012 to 2018 and is a non-official board member at Hong Kong Investment, which is owned by the SAR government, an independent non-executive director of local public transport operator MTR, and an independent non-executive director at UK banking giant Standard Chartered.

Tong will now steer HKEX with Bonnie Chan, its first female chief executive, who succeeded Nicolas Aguzin on March 1. This is the first time that HKEX has changed chairman and CEO in the same year since being set up in 2000.

The new leadership needs to tackle the twin issues of low average daily turnover and limited new share offerings, which have weighed on the bourse operator’s earnings. HKEX's net profit fell 13 percent to HKD3 billion (USD383.2 million) in the first quarter from a year ago, while revenue and other income fell 6 percent to HKD5.2 billion, it said in a financial report released on April 24.

Only 12 companies went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the first quarter, raising HKD4.7 billion, down 30 percent from a year ago and the least since 2009, according to data from Deloitte.

Cha, 74, retired as HKEX’s chairwoman after a six-year tenure following the conclusion of its annual general meeting. She will now be senior board advisor and continue to serve as chair of HKEX's International Advisory Council and Mainland China Advisory Group.

Editors: Dou Shicong, Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   HKEX,Carlson Tong,Chairman