History and politics
Hong Kong is one of the four Asian tiger economies (u.a noch Taiwan, Südkorea und Singapur). Die vier asiatischen Tigerstaaten sind die vier Länder, die seit 1970 ein phänomenales Wachstum hingelegt haben und es von den ärmsten Regionen der Welt zu den wohlhabendsten geschafft haben. Aber erst einmal zurück zum Anfang:
Hong Kong is a former Chinese colony occupied by the British. China leased the land to Britain for 99 years. China did not forget this, they wanted their piece of land back. The people of Hong Kong were consulted and decided against it. They want to be their own country. Chinese need a special visa and a valid reason (application takes several weeks) if they want to "enter" Hong Kong for just one day.
China continues to firmly maintain that Hong Kong is a part of China. The Chinese people also firmly believe that Hong Kong is a province of China. That's what the media says. So Hong Kong is still claimed by China as "part of its own country." But the governments of Hong Kong, however, claim that it is its own country, which is also more in line with reality: it has its own tax systems, its own laws and its own legal situation. These different, mostly drastic statements can lead to conflict potential including political debates every now and then.
Economy and the trade dispute
Hong Kong's growth is driven by China's rise as the world's export champion. It is one of the largest ports and goods handling centers for China and Southeast Asia. Goods were initially shipped exclusively via Hong Kong. Hong Kong is considered the "Gateway to the West" or "Gateway to the East". As a central hub connecting China and America/Europe. By the year 2000, 50% of all China exports were shipped through the port of Hong Kong.
China has recognized this concentration of power and has since further expanded its own ports so that Hong Kong is losing importance and power. Since 2019, "only" just under 10% of all China exports have been shipped via Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the best and often only way to invest capital into China from the outside and also to get one's capital out of China again. Both are not easily possible, not even for Chinese.
The government has therefore passed a law: Each Chinese is allowed to take a maximum of 50,000 USD out of the country per year. Educated Chinese know that all companies and real estate belong to the state. All property is only "borrowed".
Banks in Hong Kong that help Chinese get their money out of the country earn excellent margins here, which they can set themselves. A certain monopoly and pricing power can be seen. The Hong Kong stock market is considered extremely dependent on China, and prices have a high correlation with the economic health of China.
Many companies headquartered in China are nevertheless listed in Hong Kong to give investors exactly this security, even though they do not generate any sales in Hong Kong. The stock market in Hong Kong is considered to be very tightly controlled and regulated, which in my eyes is very necessary for Chinese companies.
The largest companies based in Hong Kong
One of the best-known companies is the Jardine Matheson conglomerate with a market capitalization of approximately over EUR 21 billion, the Hutchison Whampoa company and China Mobile Group Limited (HK).
The largest and most important trading centers
The HKSE (Hong Kong Stock Exchange) is by far the fastest growing stock exchange in the world.
Öffentliche Firmen sind in Hongkong ähnlich wie in Amerika und Deutschland sehr streng reguliert, Betrug oder Fälschungen sind eine extreme Rarität. Alle Firmen werden sowohl von der Regierung als auch von unabhängigen und weltweit anerkannten Bilanzprüfern jährlich begutachtet.
Tencent, China Mobile, Ping An and very many Chinese banks are listed here. Unlike many stock exchanges, such as those in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the Hong Kong stock exchange is also open to foreign investors.
Taxes for German shareholders
The situation is different for companies based in Hong Kong than in France, for example. Here you have no withholding tax. There are also some Chinese companies that operate through a registered office in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. These companies can be recognized by their ISIN, which begins with either "BM" or "KY". Here the withholding tax is also 0%.
Price development of the indices
Hang Seng Index The 50 most valuable stocks listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX). Weighted by market capitalization. The five most valuable stocks from the Hang Seng Index are the well-known Tencent, Alibaba, Ping An, Bank of China and AIA Group.
Öffnungszeiten in Hongkong
Most countries in Asia have a different regulation for the opening hours of the stock exchanges than in New York. In Hong Kong, the stock exchange on the HKSE is open from 2:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in European times.