Revitalizing Healthcare In The Region

Amid persistent economic challenges and geopolitical uncertainties, stress, burnout and deteriorating mental health are emerging as formidable challenges to global well-being and vitality. To address these obstacles, experts suggest that governments and organizations need to embrace a more comprehensive outlook on health to safeguard and enhance the welfare of their citizens and employees.

Indeed, the concept of health has evolved significantly in recent years, extending beyond physical wellness to encompass aspects of mental health, work and family life. In its latest global annual survey, health services company Cigna Healthcare surveyed more than 10,000 respondents across 12 diverse markets and covered a wider scope of factors impacting people’s sense of health and well-being, a concept it calls “vitality.”

The pandemic has clearly impacted people’s priorities, causing many to reevaluate what’s important to them.

Cigna Healthcare provides a range of health insurance and related products and services to individuals, companies and their employees, striving to enhance the health and vitality of those they serve. The company’s 2023 Vitality Study measured individuals across eight critical dimensions: social, occupational, financial, intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional and environmental health.

The outcomes revealed a concerning trend. Developed economies, including Hong Kong and Singapore, reported lower vitality scores compared to the global average, contrasting with higher scores in mainland China, Africa and the Middle East. A mere 5% of respondents in Hong Kong and 10% in Singapore exhibited high levels of vitality, hinting at a potential linkage between the high demands of developed societies and decreased vitality levels.

Going Beyond Physical Health

The findings underscore a notable shift in how individuals perceive and prioritize various aspects of vitality including physical health. In Hong Kong and Singapore, while the majority placed physical health as their top priority, a significant portion felt ill-equipped with the necessary skills and tools to maintain a healthy life, pinpointing a crucial area for intervention by policymakers and employers.

In particular, mental well-being emerged as a pivotal yet threatened facet of vitality, with high vitality individuals reporting markedly better mental health compared to their low vitality counterparts. Stress and severe burnout remain prevalent in Hong Kong and Singapore, with 87% of people experiencing stress in both markets, outpacing the global average significantly. Financial concerns and uncertainties about the future are the major stressors, exacerbated by looming high global interest rates and geopolitical tensions.

Shifting Priorities

The pandemic has clearly impacted people’s priorities, causing many to reevaluate what’s important to them. The emerging trend of valuing personal health and close family relationships over well-paid jobs reflects this shift, with a notable proportion in Hong Kong and Singapore aspiring to early retirement, leading all the markets surveyed.

Employers are well-positioned to address many of these challenges. A significant portion of respondents from Hong Kong and Singapore expressed a desire for more support from their employers in living healthier lives. The vitality approach can act as a critical framework for employers to not only foster and protect employee health, but also align organizational objectives with the growing awareness and expectations surrounding holistic well-being.

As businesses seek to stay ahead of the competition in the face of substantial headwinds, they will need to prioritize their employees’ vitality as a means to retain and motivate talent. By providing employees with the support they need to be at their best and integrating this with organizational needs, companies can significantly improve their chances for success.

Innovating Healthcare Solutions

Jonathan Spiers, CEO, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong, says the company is committed to not only upholding strong foundations that are built through a rich 90-year history of operations in Hong Kong, but it is also actively adapting to emerging trends and pushing the boundaries of innovation in the healthcare sector.

With a legacy spanning over 200 years globally, health benefits provider Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited (“Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong”) has become a key player in Asia-Pacific’s evolving wellness landscape. In Hong Kong, the company is celebrating 90 years of operations in 2023.

Having been recognized as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2023 (Hong Kong)” for the fourth consecutive year and a “Most Caring Company” by HR Asia, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong’s caring spirit is deeply ingrained in its culture. “We are a mission-led organization, dedicated to improving the health and vitality of those we serve, including our greatest asset—our people,” says Jonathan Spiers, CEO, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong.

According to Cigna Healthcare’s 2023 Vitality Study, 72% of people in Hong Kong say that inflation is making it too expensive to stay healthy, and 66% of employees say they wish they had more support from their employer to live a healthier life.

To deliver on the company’s mission and support a community that is grappling with escalating healthcare costs, heightened by persistent inflation and rising demand for healthcare services through an aging population, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong is investing more in key capabilities such as data analytics and clinical expertise. These investments will support continuous innovation in individual and group health plans, and help customers adopt a preventive health approach by detecting health problems early and improving health outcomes.

For individual customers, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong offers a comprehensive range of healthcare services—from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and recovery. “Our health plans are designed to deliver value to our customers by maintaining best-in-market coverage, enabling them to receive unparalleled support and access to their preferred medical providers, as well as receiving timely care and support when they need it most,” says Spiers.

For group clients, Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong proactively promotes preventive care through its in-house wellness and clinical team, which regularly hosts events such as Wellness Days, based on their employees’ needs. A typical Wellness Day includes services such as health assessments, one-on-one clinician consultations and health-related workshops specific to the organization.

Cigna Healthcare Hong Kong’s care for its people and customers is recognized by different leading industry awards.

To help design and deliver the Wellness Days, Cigna’s Care Managers play an important role. Care Managers are Hong Kong-registered nurses with a wide range of clinical experience who will guide customers through clinical pathways. This includes identifying potential doctors for treatments, interpreting complex medical reports and delivering health education to help individuals improve their health and support their well-being.

Supporting the Healthcare System

Hong Kong is one of the longest-standing markets within Cigna International Health outside of the U.S., and the company is proud to have grown with the city throughout the years. Spiers says: “With a rich 90-year history in Hong Kong, we value our legacy of quality products and services, and our commitment to healthcare value and affordability through our customer focus, innovation and quality.

“As we look ahead, we are committed to not only upholding these strong foundations but also actively adding value to our services and products, adapting to emerging trends and pushing the boundaries of innovation in the healthcare sector. We are here for the long term.” www.cigna.com.hk

Advancing Healthcare Accessibility

In Singapore, Cigna Healthcare has also been leveraging innovation in order to provide comprehensive healthcare services that offer the most value to its clients. Since its establishment in 2011, Cigna Healthcare Singapore has developed a robust suite of healthcare solutions. In 2018, for instance, it piloted a telehealth solution that was aligned with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision of making healthcare more accessible to all.

Raymond Ng, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Healthcare Singapore and Australia

In just over a decade since its inception, the company has already been recognized as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2020 (Singapore)” by HR Asia, and was awarded the “Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy” Gold accolade by HR Excellence in 2020.

To address the challenges of rising medical costs and an aging demographic, Cigna Healthcare Singapore works closely with its healthcare provider partners to negotiate better deals for its clients. The firm is also transitioning from its role as a claims payer to that of a health partner, enabling it to streamline the claims process and make it more cost-effective for its customers and patients in the long term.

“With the trend of rising medical costs likely to continue due to medical advancements and an increasingly aging population in this region, it is a huge priority for us to ensure that healthcare systems remain affordable and sustainable for everyone,” says Raymond Ng, CEO & Country Manager, Cigna Healthcare Singapore and Australia.

“We believe that preventive healthcare should be the future toward which we are all working. It helps in the early detection of potential health issues before they escalate into more severe conditions. Early intervention often leads to more effective and less costly treatments.”

Employing Technology for Better Outcomes

Cigna Healthcare Singapore is currently investing in healthcare innovation, particularly in data analytics and AI, given the opportunities to identify patterns and trends which can lead to potential cost-saving opportunities. For example, the company employs data analytics to make the underwriting process more efficient and deliver insurance pricing schemes that are better tailored to each individual.

Furthermore, Cigna Healthcare is currently exploring the use of AI-powered predictive analytics that can identify high-risk individuals, allowing the firm to proactively support them with preventive strategies, ultimately reducing long-term healthcare costs. To this end, the company continuously collaborate with other strategic players in the industry, such as digital health startups and telehealth providers, to further expand its reach and services.

Looking ahead, Cigna Healthcare Singapore is focused on expanding its product line to more effectively target local enterprises with a regional focus. “As we continue striving to be the health partner of choice for organizations and people around the world, we believe it is part of our role to inform and raise awareness among consumers about the changing healthcare landscape,” says Ng.

“This means working closely with our clients and partners to understand people’s needs, ensuring their healthcare demands are met, and helping organizations achieve better health and business outcomes.” www.cigna.com.sg

 


Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for information only and does not represent the entire coverage or features of relevant insurance product(s). This article does not constitute a contract of insurance or an offer, invitation or solicitation to any person to enter into any contract of insurance. It does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation to purchase or provision of any insurance product outside Hong Kong and Singapore. It does not purport to provide legal or other advice and should not be taken as such. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking professional advice. Issued by Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited and Cigna Europe Insurance Company S.A.-N.V. Singapore Branch.

Unlocking Opportunities For Affluent Chinese

China’s massive wealth creation in recent years has yielded a new generation of sophisticated high net worth (HNW) investors seeking expert guidance on how to grow and protect their wealth in a volatile global environment. Currently the world’s second largest wealth management market, China is expected to be home to around 80 million individuals whose wealth exceeds US$1 million by 2035, up from 17 million today1.

Against this backdrop of rapid wealth accumulation, HSBC is bringing its comprehensive capabilities and global network to meet the needs of China’s entrepreneurs and their families. HSBC Global Private Banking (GPB) offers an extensive range of wealth management offerings to its clients across Asia. Tapping on the HSBC Group’s expansive breadth of services, the private bank is able to fulfil most of its clients’ wealth needs through the group’s robust commercial, retail and investment banking arms.

Bryce Wan, Market Head of North Asia, HSBC Global Private Banking

Meanwhile, HSBC’s global presence, spanning 62 countries and territories, with over 13 GPB booking centres, enables the bank to connect its clients to opportunities around the world. Clients also benefit from exclusive insights and research from the group’s investment research capabilities.

To provide its HNW clients with expert advice and guidance, HSBC GPB has assembled a team of dedicated relationship managers, investment counsellors, product specialists, and wealth planners who provide a wide range of bespoke investment and non-investment wealth solutions for individuals and family offices. Furthermore, the bank’s Global Relationship Managers (GRM) situated in major financial centres are able to offer Asian clients a seamless experience worldwide. These GRM teams consist of frontline colleagues who can effectively communicate with clients from the region and cater to their global needs.

“Our competitive advantage lies in being able to leverage HSBC Group’s global connectivity and breadth of capabilities. Our dedicated Asia coverage teams in key wealth hubs around the world can offer comprehensive solutions to support the wealth journeys of our clients,” says Jackie Mau, Head of Global Private Banking, HSBC China.

Supporting Legacies

Another key trend poised to shake up the market is the looming inter-generational wealth transfer set to take place over the next decade. There is an urgent desire among HNW and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals to secure their legacies and transfer their wealth to the next generation.

With over 75 years of experience in Asia and globally, HSBC Trustee has been working with families around the world to address the complex issues of succession planning and wealth transfer.

“The expertise of HSBC’s trust and fiduciary services is particularly beneficial for our clients, who often have complex, multigenerational wealth management needs. Our well-established trust structures offer not just the security of asset preservation, but also the sophistication of efficient wealth transfer and tax planning,” says Bryce Wan, Market Head of North Asia, HSBC Global Private Banking.

The bank is also able to assist its UHNW clients in Asia in establishing family offices and facilitating knowledge-sharing experiences between well-established and newly set up family offices across markets. “Our synergistic approach between onshore and offshore services allows us to deliver a superior client experience,” says Wan.

Jackie Mau, Head of Global Private Banking, HSBC China

Growing from Strength to Strength

Going forward, HSBC GPB will continue to invest in its capabilities and network in Asia. As wealth creation in the region outpaces the rest of the world, the bank will work towards bringing its wealth management expertise and client service capabilities closer to its clients.

HSBC will also continue to enhance its Chief Investment Office and investment capabilities to ensure that its clients are well advised to navigate market fluctuations amid an increasingly uncertain environment. The bank’s growing digital capabilities will further enhance the customer experience, providing clients with various platforms to interact with their wealth managers.

Furthermore, HSBC GPB will foster greater synergy between its local and international teams in Asia, and proactively acquire talent as it scales up its presence in the region. By expanding both local expertise and global reach, HSBC is strategically positioning itself as an essential partner for HNW and UHNW individuals and families in Asia.

And as one of the most compelling wealth markets in Asia, China is a critical part of HSBC’s strategy to become the leading private bank for Asian, international and HSBC-connected clients. Says Mau: “With our global scale, financial strength and personalised services, HSBC Global Private Banking is well-positioned to serve as a trusted partner to Chinese clients, helping them achieve their wealth goals over generations.”

1 Source: The Rise of Asian Wealth, HSBC Global Research, August 2022

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

Cathay Cargo: Delivering Know-How

With its diverse team of multi-racial, multi-generational staff, some striding purposefully, some with a more casual air, keeping its corridors perpetually alive with the rush of coordinated movement, it’s not difficult to see Cathay’s massive Hong Kong headquarters as a microcosm of the airline’s global operation. Located approximately three kilometers from Hong Kong International Airport, Cathay City is the headquarters of Hong Kong’s home carrier, an airline that, over its 77-year history, has emerged as one of the global leader in both passenger transport and cargo conveyancing.

While its passenger flight services will be familiar to many who have visited Hong Kong (or any of the other 65 destinations around the world it serves), its cargo resource—recently rebranded from Cathay Pacific Cargo to simply Cathay Cargo—has true hero status, having played an essential role in keeping its home city stocked during its long Covid-prompted isolation. Now, with such necessity well in the rearview mirror, Cathay Cargo is firmly in expansionary mode, confidently laying out its claim to being one of the most competent, dependable and comprehensive operators in the air freight sector. It is an ethos neatly summed up in the new campaign tagline it rolled out in a rare burst of video advertising in June this year—“We Know How.”

Prime movers: From champion horses to fine fresh foods, Cathay Cargo can do.

Straightforward, to the point and quietly confident, the qualities inherent in its tagline are equally evident in Tom Owen, Director Cargo—the man charged with ensuring his division makes good on its aim of becoming, as he terms it, “the world’s most customer-centric air cargo services brand.” It is a lofty aspiration, but one that Owen believes the company is already well on course to deliver upon.

 “E-commerce has boomed over recent years, and as this trend looks likely to be a sustained uptick, we have added capacity on routes with the highest demand, most notably from the Greater Bay Area to the U.S. and Europe.”

Tom Owen

Serving Specialist Segments

Buoyed by the cargo carrier’s significant role in Hong Kong’s recognition as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2022, Owen is confident that it is well-prepared to meet the many new demands it faces in the post-pandemic era. Outlining the moves the carrier has made to optimize its services across several key segments, he says, “E-commerce has boomed over recent years, and as this trend looks likely to be a sustained uptick, we have added capacity on routes with the highest demand, most notably from the Greater Bay Area to the U.S. and Europe.

“At the same time, we have also responded to the surge in demand for fresh produce delivery. In fact, we now operate a dedicated service called Cathay Fresh, which is specifically designed to rapidly deliver such items from places such as Australia to Hong Kong, mainland China or the U.S. This has been backed by the doubling of our cold storage capacity and the introduction of priority lanes. We ensure quick farm-to-table delivery, allowing customers in Hong Kong to enjoy fresh seasonal produce within two days of packing in most cases.”

Tom Owen, Director Cargo, Cathay Pacific

Another specialized area where Cathay Cargo has been keen to bolster its offerings is pharmaceuticals, the flow of which was truly a matter of life and death on a massive scale not too long ago. Detailing how this solution has evolved, Owen says, “We have always had the temperature-control facilities to handle pharmaceuticals, but now, with our Cathay Pharma service, we are really making a virtue of that. Essentially, our resources allow us to carry pharmaceuticals from any part of the world to any other safely and rapidly.”

In many ways, it is this intelligent expansion and consolidation of its existing services that characterize Cathay Cargo’s forward strategy, an approach exemplified by the rethinking of its core mail handling services. Explaining the changes here, Owen says: “Our relaunched Cathay Mail service has once again been influenced by the surge in e-commerce volumes. This enables post offices worldwide, all of which aim to build their e-commerce presence, to track and trace their mail, while also providing them with a simplified billing and reconciliation system.

“Our ongoing commitment to digitization has also allowed us to incorporate this same level of transparency and accountability into our activities across the board. Basically, we have integrated all our paper-based procedures relating to every component of the supply chain into one digital system. This provides users with an end-to-end track and trace capability, allowing them to monitor their cargo across a variety of metrics, including exact status and current temperature. The system can also be used to place initial bookings.”

Taking the GBA Truly Global

Aside from its expertise, Cathay Cargo’s other significant advantages are its geographical affiliations and connectivity, both of which it has adeptly harnessed as it looks to bolster its global offerings. Among the most notable of these is its extended home market of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), the massive priority development zone that encompasses nine mainland cities in Guangdong, as well as Macau and Hong Kong.

Given the sheer size of the GBA’s existing manufacturing base and the expectation of rapid expansion in the years to come, Cathay Cargo has understandably moved swiftly to position itself at the center of the zone’s logistics resources. Indeed, when the Airport Authority Hong Kong opened a cargo terminal in Dongguan, one of the mainland GBA cities, Cathay Cargo was the first to establish a dedicated on-site facility—Cathay Cargo Terminal Dongguan.

Cathay Cargo

Commenting on its significance and utility, Owen says, “This puts us right at the heart of the GBA manufacturing region. We can now transport cargo by barge, having been pre-cleared by customs and security upstream in Dongguan, directly to Hong Kong International Airport. This saves on handling costs and reduces transit time for customers, providing us with a seamless connectivity advantage in this dynamic region for both exports and, in the future, imports.”

Fortuitously, with Cathay Cargo clearly reinventing itself and looking to showcase the realities that underpin its “We Know How” tagline, there couldn’t be a better time for the IATA World Cargo Symposium—one of the industry’s most prestigious events—to take place in Hong Kong next year.

Clearly relishing the opportunity it represents, Owen says: “As the host airline for the biggest air cargo event of the year, I’m delighted that very senior people from the industry will be coming to see for themselves what we are capable of. We’ll be providing a very warm welcome for anyone who wants to know more about us.”

 

www.cathaycargo.com

A Trusted Partner To Navigate An Evolving Wealth Market

The Philippines’ wealth market has evolved over the years into a vibrant and globally interconnected ecosystem. As the economy has expanded, so too has the wealth of the nation’s families, creating a burgeoning class of sophisticated high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals.

This shift has been accompanied by a more global mindset among the country’s affluent. Wealthy Filipino families are no longer focused just on their own shores, but are extending their horizons internationally with investments, businesses and family members spread across the globe. Yet, these changing dynamics have resulted in a more complex set of financial needs; issues such as succession planning, international taxation and cross-border investments have become top-of-mind concerns for these families.

With its deep-rooted presence of 148 years in the Philippines, HSBC has long been a trusted partner to the country’s wealthiest families, guiding them through the intricacies of an evolving landscape. “As one of the leading international foreign banks in the Philippines offering a full suite of financial services and access to a global network, HSBC Global Private Banking (HSBC GPB) is well-positioned to support our Filipino clients across their entire wealth journey, encompassing their private, business and investment needs,” says Abhishek Mehrotra, Managing Director, Relationship Management, Philippines, HSBC Global Private Banking.

Abhishek Mehrotra, Managing Director, Relationship Management, Philippines, HSBC Global Private Banking

Providing Comprehensive Solutions

The wealth market in the Philippines is dominated by family-owned businesses, more so than in other Asian countries. These companies face challenges that extend beyond trade and business operations, encompassing areas such as investments as well as estate and succession planning.

HSBC GPB harnesses its deep expertise in advisory and trust solutions to help these families preserve and grow their wealth, and is also able to tap on HSBC’s strong commercial banking to support their clients’ business-related needs, including trade financing and working capital solutions. Furthermore, the private bank leverages HSBC’s international reach, spanning 62 countries and territories globally, to introduce clients to novel business opportunities around the world as well as provide access to liquidity events such as initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

On the investment front, HSBC GPB utilises its comprehensive investment capabilities across multiple asset classes to meet rising demand by its clients for alternative investments, private credit and other emerging opportunities like ESG investments. HSBC believes the transition to a sustainable economy is a multi-decade investment opportunity as sustainable investments are no longer considered the choice of specialist investors and have become mainstream. To support its clients in their sustainability journey, HSBC GPB offers a full range of sustainable and impact investing solutions.

HSBC GPB’s family advisory service is another key aspect of its wealth management offering in the Philippines. The bank helps professionalise family office structures and governance, and organises wealth management, succession and investment activities for its clients. This service also offers flexibility for families to establish offices in various locations around the world, including key financial hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Opening Doors to Global Opportunities

With an increasingly global outlook, wealthy families in the Philippines are also looking for support in their overseas endeavours, whether in their businesses or personal affairs. “Filipino clients have always been very global. Today, even if their businesses tend to be domestic in nature, their desire to go overseas is more pronounced than ever. So, an international bank with a truly global network and deep local understanding is very appealing for them,” says Mehrotra.

Henry Lam, Regional Head of Wealth Planning and Advisory at HSBC GPB, noted that the bank’s on-the-ground presence in markets around the world enables it to provide clients with valuable, real-world insights. “A lot of the advice that we bring to our clients is substantiated by our intimate understanding of those markets. If a Filipino client is keen to invest in India, for example, the beauty is that we have been present in those markets for a long time,” he says.

Henry Lam, Regional Head of Wealth Planning and Advisory, HSBC Global Private Banking

Supporting Succession Planning Goals

As the founders and leaders of successful Asian businesses begin handing over control to the next generation, many families are seeking guidance to engineer a smooth transfer of wealth. While addressing complex family structures is challenging in the best of times, the relatively larger size of Filipino families adds a layer of complexity that must be managed wisely to maintain family harmony.

To support their succession planning goals, HSBC advises clients through a structured dialogue process, with the aim of enhancing existing plans to accommodate evolving family dynamics. “Multi-branch and multi-generational families across a wide range of ages are not uncommon in the Philippines. Therefore, understanding individual perspectives is important in working with our clients to design a process for deciding each family member’s role when it comes to managing their family wealth. At HSBC, we start this process with advisory, helping the families understand and organise themselves and taking stock not just of their wealth and business, but also their philanthropic goals and human capital,” says Lam.

HSBC then employs its trust company, HSBC Trustee, for execution and ongoing support. With over 75 years of experience in Asia and client relationships spanning more than four generations, HSBC Trustee is well versed with managing family dynamics and supporting its clients in protecting and preserving their wealth across generations and geographies.

Going Big on Digital

As Filipinos are tech-savvy consumers, HSBC GPB is able to employ advanced digital capabilities to more effectively serve its clients by providing increased convenience and accessibility.

Among other solutions, the bank now offers virtual account opening and trading, accepts e-signatures and can hold secure online meetings with clients through HSBC GPB Chat. Meanwhile, HSBC’s Prism Advisory, a portfolio-based advisory and investment service, enables private banking and eligible retail wealth clients to manage risk and test their portfolios against different market scenarios by using data-driven insights and expert guidance to make informed decisions. However, understanding that client preferences remain deeply personal, HSBC equally stresses the role of its human relationship managers and wealth advisers in family discussions.

“Whether it’s an online trading facility, opening an account or exchanging investment ideas, every juncture of our engagement with the clients can happen virtually. That said, we are adopting a hybrid approach where we leverage the best digital tools, facilitated and delivered through intelligent human presence as their trusted advisers,” says Mehrotra.

Rising Ambitions

Going forward, HSBC GPB aims to expand its onshore presence in the Philippines, focusing on tier-two cities and growing its presence in non-Metro Manila areas. Furthermore, the bank intends to bolster its commercial banking capabilities to support clients with their international needs, M&As, advisory and capital market transactions, which would naturally lead to opportunities for the private bank.

In recognition of its success, HSBC GPB has won various industry awards in the Philippines, including the “Best International Private Bank in the Philippines” at the Asiamoney Private Banking Awards 2023.

Says Mehrotra: “As the Philippines’ wealth market continues to evolve and grow, HSBC stands ready to adapt, innovate and provide enduring solutions for the country’s wealthy families over generations.”

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and HSBC Trustee (Hong Kong) Limited

Guiding Asia’s Wealthy Through Turbulent Times

After nearly three years of pandemic-fueled anxiety, there has been no let-up in the challenges weighing on wealthy investors in Asia and the rest of the world. Faced with persistently high inflation, rising interest rates and ongoing geopolitical tensions, high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals and families are seeking guidance to grow and preserve their wealth during this volatile period.

“The pandemic has prompted our clients to think more about intergenerational wealth succession. And the changing geopolitical dynamics have further reinforced this need for them to protect and preserve their wealth,” says Bryce Wan, Market Head of North Asia, HSBC Global Private Banking.

With a long history of success in Asia, HSBC Global Private Banking (GPB) is leveraging its comprehensive wealth and banking expertise, international network and digital capabilities to help clients in the region realize their wealth ambitions. In Asia, HSBC GPB has regularly demonstrated its award-winning capabilities in alternatives, credit advisory, wealth planning and philanthropy.

Bryce Wan, Market Head of North Asia, HSBC Global Private Banking

Building Resilience into Portfolios

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, HNW clients are keen to build more resilience into their investments as a buffer against volatility. To this end, HSBC GPB is advising them to rebalance their portfolios towards fixed income, while still taking on some “recession-resilient” risk on the equity side, particularly in the U.S. and Asia.

“On a risk-adjusted basis, fixed income underperformed equities last year, and rates are peaking, so that is a favorable investment environment for bonds, especially mid-duration and quality names,” says Sami Abouzahr, Head of Investments and Wealth Solutions, Hong Kong, HSBC Global Private Banking and Wealth.

He also advises investors to further diversify their portfolios through alternative assets, and to look beyond the immediate to capture opportunities in longer-term structural trends such as green transformation, energy security and smart mobility, among others.

Preserving wealth is just as important as growing wealth. HSBC GPB is also well positioned to support clients in their legacy and succession planning efforts through its market-leading trustee business, protecting and preserving their wealth across generations and geographies. Established in 1946, HSBC Trustee offers clients global coverage with trust companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, Delaware, New York in the U.S. and Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Diversification Remains Critical

Diversification continues to be a key strategy to mitigate risk, and HSBC GPB can optimally help investors diversify their portfolios across assets and geographies. To do so, the bank provides its clients access to global wealth hubs and solutions across four regions—the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific—through 11 booking centers. Meanwhile, HSBC GPB has over 650 experts worldwide connecting its clients to international opportunities.

HSBC GPB also boasts a successful track record in the alternative investment space, and is able to help investors seek out assets, such as private equity or hedge funds, to potentially reduce the overall risk of their portfolios, as well as uncover uncorrelated opportunities.

“Private individuals have been on a journey to institutionalize how they invest—moving away from short-term trades to long-term investments and structured portfolios. And increasing their exposure to alternatives has been a part of that journey,” says Abouzahr.

“We have been managing alternative investments for 25 years, so we are very familiar with the space. We have the expertise, the connections and the knowledge to help our clients build different kinds of alternatives and integrate them into their portfolios.”

Sami Abouzahr, Head of Investments and Wealth Solutions, Hong Kong, HSBC Global Private Banking and Wealth

Digital Leadership

To cater to the next generation’s digital needs and enhance client experience, HSBC GPB has been heavily investing in its digital capabilities.

Indeed, HSBC GPB has invested over US$200 million over a four-year period to build and innovate its core banking and digital platforms. This commitment to digitalization has led to greater convenience and better user experience for clients, including a strong uptake of HSBC GPB’s online trading capabilities, with over 35% of execution-only trades in Asia being completed online.

“We are using digital solutions to simplify and enhance everything to do with clients, from trading to accessing market insights or viewing their portfolios. Our recently launched HSBC Prism Advisory in Asia, a portfolio-based advisory and investment service for GPB and eligible retail wealth clients is a great example of how we are combining expert advice with digital capabilities and institutional-grade risk analytics,” says Abouzahr.

“They can also engage with their relationship managers and investment counselors through instant chat on WhatsApp or WeChat in a secure manner via our client messaging platform, HSBC GPB Chat.”

Solutions Spanning the Wealth Journey

As the wealth of Asia’s HNW and UHNW families are largely derived from successful enterprises, their wealth needs tend to span both personal and business, and are likely to evolve over time. HSBC’s “universal banking model” allows the private bank to bring the capabilities of the entire group—from retail and commercial banking to asset management and philanthropy—to meet the diverse needs of their clients over their entire wealth journey.

Collectively, HSBC GPB’s market-leading capabilities and global network enable it to provide clients in Asia with a “one-stop” solution that caters to their complex and changing needs under one trusted brand.

“We are able to take care of our clients through the wealth lifecycle, from the moment they start to build their wealth to the time they decide to pass on their wealth to the next generation, or give back to society,” says Wan.

He adds: “HSBC GPB is in a unique position to provide a full service to our clients, offering a global presence with local expertise, while staying at the forefront in terms of digital and products. This is critical for HNW and UHNW individuals and families in Asia as they look to grow and preserve their wealth in an increasingly complex environment.”

privatebanking.hsbc.com


Disclaimer

Investments in emerging markets may be extremely volatile and subject to sudden fluctuations of varying magnitude due to a wide range of direct and indirect influences. Such characteristics can lead to considerable losses being incurred by those exposed to such markets. This article is not a personalized communication from HSBC to you and does not constitute and should not be construed as legal, tax or investment advice or a solicitation of the sale or recommendation of any product or service. You should not make any investment decisions based mainly or solely on this article. All investments involve risks and may experience upward or downward movements and may even become valueless. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Breaking New Ground In The Chinese Wealth Market

With the expansion of its onshore private banking business in mainland China earlier this year, HSBC has made clear its commitment to one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing wealth markets. Combined with its well-established offshore business, HSBC Global Private Banking (GPB) is now able to seamlessly deliver the group’s comprehensive suite of solutions and access to its international network to the mainland’s high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families.

Jackie Mau, Head of Global Private Banking, HSBC China

The expansion in mainland China is integral to the bank’s bold ambition to be Asia’s leading wealth manager, says Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific. “Mainland China represents the largest and fastest growing wealth pool in the world. If we want to be Asia’s leading wealth manager, we need to be able to leverage this huge opportunity in front of us,” she says.

Research shows that by 2025, the total wealth of Chinese households is projected to grow by more than 50%, while the number of HNW individuals is also expected to rise to five million.

As the needs of Chinese HNW and UHNW individuals become more sophisticated, in particular those of the younger generation, they are seeking banks that can provide them with international and professional insights and expertise to meet their increasingly complex needs. By marrying expert local knowledge with global connectivity, HSBC is ideally suited to fill this gap.

“The internationally minded younger generation want the views and vision of international financial institutions like us to give them global perspectives,” explains Jackie Mau, Head of Global Private Banking, HSBC China.

Expanding Services to Meet Rapidly Growing New Demands

HSBC expanded its Chinese onshore private banking business in May this year, establishing dedicated teams in the Tier 1 cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It further extended its business to Chengdu and Hangzhou this October, making it the first international bank to set up a dedicated private banking service team in western China, while strengthening its service capabilities in the Yangtze River Delta region where successful entrepreneurs, especially in the dynamic digital and technology sectors, are creating new wealth and demand for wealth management is growing rapidly.

“Many of our Chinese clients are already banking with us offshore, but an average 80% of their wealth is onshore, so it was a very natural opportunity for us to support them with an onshore presence, and provide more professional and private banking services to help them manage their onshore wealth and family needs in China,” says Mau.

With an enhanced presence in mainland China, HSBC can now offer each of its private banking clients a dedicated Relationship Manager and Investment Counsellor who can help them achieve a more robust asset allocation, as well as create tailor-made solutions.

HSBC Global Private Banking also works closely with the group’s commercial bank and insurance arm in mainland China, as well as HSBC Qianhai Securities, to deliver solutions across the entire spectrum of financial needs. “We are the only foreign private bank with such an extensive footprint on the ground in China. At the same time, we are leveraging the entire HSBC ecosystem to offer holistic banking services to our clients,” Mau adds.

This support extends not just to clients’ personal wealth or business activities, but also to meeting their family needs. This can include helping clients with financial aspects of their children’s overseas education, whether applying for a credit card or opening a bank account in a foreign country.

As many HNW and UHNW Chinese adopt a more international outlook, HSBC’s truly global network—covering 64 markets and with Global Private Banking & Wealth serving 35 of these—is another major draw for mainland clients. “Chinese clients are looking beyond just Asia because of their international lifestyles, and therein lies the importance of the offshore and onshore strategy for us. The fact that we are already the largest international bank in mainland China puts us in a leading position to serve these clients,” says Tan.

Planning for Sustainable Futures

HSBC is tapping on its expertise in legacy and succession planning to support HNW and UHNW Chinese as they prepare for a significant wealth transfer to the next generation in the coming years. With over 75 years of experience working with families around the world, our HSBC Trustee offers global coverage with trust companies conveniently located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Delaware and New York in the US, and Jersey in the Channel Islands to help clients plan for their future and manage a smooth handover of their wealth.

Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific

“Clients want to work with a partner that they know is going to be around for many generations; someone they can trust to help them carry on their legacy for future generations,” says Tan. To this end, HSBC also conducts programmes for our next-generation UHNW clients to expand their horizons to become the future leaders.

Many among China’s wealthy are also keen to give back to society as part of their legacy. To support them, HSBC has established a series of events under its “HSBC GPB China Philanthropy Forum” initiative to share knowledge and connect like-minded families.

On its part, HSBC in mainland China has also demonstrated its commitment to give back to the communities it operates in. For instance, by the end of 2021, HSBC had made accumulated donations of nearly RMB1.3 billion (US$181 million) in mainland China, supporting rural revitalisation, financial education, environmental conservation, elderly care, child welfare, community development, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as pandemic control and disaster relief.

Another fast-expanding sphere of interest among Chinese HNW and UHNW clients is sustainability, and in particular ESG investments. With many of its Chinese clients already investing in ESG through offshore wealth hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong, HSBC is committed to enhancing its offerings in this space through continued innovation and product development in the coming years.

In 2022, HSBC has hired about 100 employees to support the rapid expansion of its Chinese onshore private banking business. Looking ahead, HSBC will further expand its onshore GPB team size three-fold in the next five years, with a focus on grooming local talent. The bank will also continue to invest in new products and digital platforms to enhance the level of service and solutions it can deliver to Chinese clients onshore.

“Many Chinese clients are now looking for professional partners who will guide them in an increasingly complex environment, and work alongside them to find the right solutions for their needs,” Tan notes. “As such, we will continue to invest in the talent and capabilities of our onshore business in China, with the objective of growing our share in this dynamic market.”

privatebanking.hsbc.com


Disclaimer

The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

Hong Kong: Setting New Standards

Following one of the most challenging periods in its history, Hong Kong is once again demonstrating its legendary resilience, adaptability and creativity to emerge from the pandemic stronger and more dynamic than ever.

The city, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule in July, has been reminding the world why it is such a unique and vibrant global hub—not only for finance, but also for culture, technology, science and medicine.

The HK$3.5 billion (US$445 million) Hong Kong Palace Museum opened to widespread acclaim as part of the anniversary celebrations, hot on the heels of the hugely anticipated M+ museum of visual culture. Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, meanwhile, is driving forward with its ambitious plans to develop the city into a world-leading I&T hub, drawing praise from Chinese President Xi Jinping on his recent visit. And the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has succeeded in making a major breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with a groundbreaking blood test for early detection.

Above all, however, the city has reaffirmed its status as both one of the world’s most important international financial centers, and an irreplaceable bridge between China and the rest of the world. Not only is the SAR creating a wealth of new opportunities for investors inside and outside of China through its various Connect schemes—and thus ideally positioning itself to take advantage of what Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), calls “The Big Bang of Finance”—but it is also developing its financial services industry in areas such as fintech, ESG and sustainable investments.

Moreover, as pandemic restrictions and quarantine periods ease, the city has once again placed attracting the world’s best and brightest finance professionals to the city at the top of its agenda. As Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury affirms, “Nurturing and attracting talent is always indispensable.”

Hong Kong’s can-do spirit is also exemplified by renowned healthcare insurance firm Cigna, which has been providing bespoke health insurance solutions to corporate and individual clients in the city for almost 90 years. As the company’s CEO, Jonathan Spiers, explains, Cigna views its role within Hong Kong as much more than just offering affordable and high-quality health insurance solutions: “At a very fundamental level, we see our role as being an integral part of the Hong Kong healthcare system.”

Another company working hard to make Hong Kong—and the world—a better place for everyone is leading property developer Sino Group. With a footprint in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and Australia, Sino Group has placed sustainability and ESG at the top of its agenda, focusing on projects that are not only better for the environment, but which also meet communities’ cultural and humanitarian needs.

As well as striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through sustainable building practices—as evidenced by the company’s new developments including mixed-use urban oasis Grand Central and the spectacular The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong—Sino Group has also collaborated with the Hong Kong Government to create Wellness Lodge, a transitional housing project supporting the short-term housing needs of underprivileged families.

With innovation meeting community spirit in companies such as these, Hong Kong’s future looks very bright indeed.

Delivering Wealth Solutions Amid A Volatile Landscape

With the outlook for the global economy highly uncertain due to the Russia-Ukraine war, supply disruptions and rising inflation, high net worth individuals in Asia and the rest of the world are bracing themselves for a sustained period of heightened market volatility. Against this backdrop, HSBC Global Private Banking aims to help its clients manage these risks by leveraging their international connectivity and comprehensive capabilities to pursue investment opportunities and diversification.

“With the ongoing uncertainty, whether it’s the inflation threat, more aggressive Fed rate hikes, or the Russia-Ukraine war, global diversification and risk management become extremely important for our investors. HSBC Global Private Banking aims to help our clients diversify their portfolios across assets and geographies in the most optimal way possible,” says Abhishek Mehrotra, Managing Director and Senior Desk Head, Philippines and Japan at HSBC Global Private Banking.

This strategy of diversification sits well with high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients in the Philippines, who have traditionally been firm believers in such an approach, not just when it comes to investing, but in their personal and professional lives.

“Clients in the Philippines tend to have footprints in multiple locations to capture the strengths that each place has to offer. And this is where HSBC’s international connectivity and universal bank model can benefit them, as we are comprehensively covering both the East and the West,” says Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific.

“We are present in the key financial centers globally, in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Switzerland and the US, enabling us to support our clients as they expand their businesses, and as their families look towards living in different parts of the world. Many successful Filipinos send their children overseas for education, or to invest in real estate abroad, and the US is one of their favorite markets,” she adds. “We have a dedicated Asia coverage team based in the US, which is comprised of relationship managers, investment counsellors, credit advisors and wealth planners with extensive experience relevant to clients from the US-Philippines corridor, and who have great interest in international mortgages and geographical diversification.”

Meeting Changing and More Sophisticated Wealth Needs

Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific

The needs of Asian ultra-high net worth families are likely to evolve over time, with much of the wealth accumulated by entrepreneurs who built, and continue to run, successful businesses.

“We have supported many of these entrepreneurial families through the years, developing an intimate understanding of their needs across businesses, private wealth, and even generations. This is especially true in the Philippines, where HSBC first established an office in 1875 offering financial services to communities of exporters and merchants,” explains Mehrotra.

Today, HSBC Global Private Banking clients in the Philippines can tap on the full capabilities of the entire group—from personal transaction banking services to commercial banking services—to meet their ever-changing needs at every stage of the clients’ wealth journey. In particular, there is a growing demand for solutions that can help ultra-high net worth families manage a seamless transfer of wealth to the next generation.

“Wealth preservation is a key priority for our Philippines clients, and HSBC has been very instrumental in inter-generational wealth transfer for ultra-high net worth families in the country. HSBC Trustee, which has been around for over 75 years in Asia, is very well versed with managing family dynamics, and well placed to support our clients in succession planning and transferring wealth to the next generation,” says Mehrotra. “We can help our clients find solutions to a broad range of wealth planning needs including family governance and family business succession and working with next generations. Philippines clients have a strong sense of community and believe in giving back to the society in various ways. We can help secure a wider legacy and make a positive change regardless of where our clients are on their philanthropic journey.”

Engaging through Digital

As private banking clients become more comfortable utilizing technology for their wealth needs, HSBC is engaging them through multiple digital channels. These include mobile apps that enable remote transactions, or through secured communication platforms via WhatsApp and WeChat.

Reflecting the bank’s commitment to digitalization, HSBC Global Private Banking is investing more than US$100 million in Asia over a two-year period to build and innovate its core banking and digital platforms.

“This investment is very timely, and we accelerated it over the last 12 to 18 months as engaging with our clients through digital channels became critical due to Covid-19 lockdowns in countries such as the Philippines,” says Tan.

“When we launched our chat applications on secure platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat, one of the first clients to adopt this solution was a key Philippines client,” she recalls.

Investing in the Future

As the next generation of Philippines clients come to the fore, there has been an increasing adoption of investment trends related to the New Economy, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), and alternative investments.

Abhishek Mehrotra, Managing Director and Senior Desk Head, Philippines and Japan, HSBC Global Private Banking

In the area of sustainability, HSBC is keeping pace with its clients by committing to provide between US$750 billion and US$1 trillion of sustainable financing and investments over the next 10 years to support the net zero transition.

In recent years, there has also been growing interest in private assets and alternative investments, as high net worth investors in the Philippines seek to reduce volatility and improve yields in their portfolios. With its global expertise in alternatives, HSBC is well-positioned to serve investors in this emerging space. In 2021, trade publication Asian Private Banker named HSBC Global Private Banking as the “Best Private Bank for Alternative Advisory” for the third consecutive year.

HSBC’s success is also being recognized in other aspects of the private banking world. Among the seven awards HSBC Global Private Banking received from Asian Private Banker last year were the “Best Private Bank for Wealth Planning Services” and blue-ribbon “Best Private Bank in Asia Pacific”; accolades that reflect the progress it has made in delivering industry-leading client offerings and services.

These awards reflect HSBC Global Private Banking’s ongoing mission to support its high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients in the Philippines and the rest of Asia as they seek to navigate a highly volatile landscape, while looking to capture opportunities that may emerge.

“The challenges we are witnessing come with their fair share of opportunities, and many of our Philippines clients are actively looking towards HSBC to help them navigate through these times and tap those opportunities,” says Mehrotra.

privatebanking.hsbc.com


Disclaimer

The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China. Our anniversary theme “A New Era — Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity” echoes the spirit of Hong Kong’s achievements over the past quarter of a century and looks forward to the bright prospects ahead.

Since the establishment of the HKSAR in 1997, both the Chinese Central Government and HKSAR Government have remained true to the original aspiration for our city under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. As such, Hong Kong enjoys the dual advantages of closer integration with the Mainland while maintaining its global outlook and capitalist way of life.

This has enabled Hong Kong to cement its position as an international financial center and a conduit for flows of capital, investment and trade between China and the rest of the world. With abundant business opportunities and a fascinating cultural blend of East and West, the city is home to a multicultural community.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

The past 25 years have not been all plain sailing. Hong Kong has faced various challenges, including the Asian financial crisis (1997), global financial crisis (2008) and the SARS outbreak (2003), but has always turned crises into opportunities and emerged stronger. The past three years have been particularly tough—our society and our economy were shaken by social unrest in 2019. Our economy has also been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which spared no one.

As our economy gradually recovers from the impact of the pandemic, and with stability restored, Hong Kong is looking ahead to a bright new era. It is the only city in the world that offers a secure and dynamic environment for business, an exciting, cosmopolitan lifestyle and direct access to the Mainland market.

Back on Track under “One Country, Two Systems”

Stability has always been the keystone for Hong Kong’s development as a safe, secure and resilient place. Implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) in 2020 and improvements to our electoral system in 2021 provide the necessary legal framework and mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, enhance governance and continue to thrive under “One Country, Two Systems”.

The Basic Law of Hong Kong and the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR. The NSL stipulates that rights and freedoms shall be respected and protected as have been enjoyed by citizens under the Basic Law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

A New Era of Opportunities

Three-Runway System at Hong Kong International Airport.

As China embarks on a fresh phase of development, Hong Kong is entering a new era of opportunities with better integration into national development. The National 14th Five-Year Plan (the Plan) and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) will herald huge opportunities for Hong Kong people and businesses.

Hong Kong will make full use of its unique characteristics to enhance our city’s competitive edges and embark upon a new and exciting chapter of the “Hong Kong Story”.

The Plan establishes a clear positioning and direction for Hong Kong’s economic development and supports Hong Kong in developing eight international centers in the areas of finance, transportation, trade, legal and dispute resolution services, aviation, innovation & technology (I&T), intellectual property trading as well as serving as an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange.

Gateway to the Greater Bay Area

As one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China, the GBA offers many opportunities and has huge growth potential in various areas including I&T, advanced manufacturing, high-end services, trade and transport.

Being the most open and internationally-connected city in the GBA, Hong Kong will make full use of its advantages to become a world-class destination for people to live, work, invest, network and enjoy a high quality of life.

An Alluring Lifestyle

More than a stylish city, Hong Kong represents a lifestyle that’s immersed in cultural heritage, inspired by modernity and energized by an awesome natural environment.

In this city of contrasts, you will find big global brands and quaint corner shops, international fine dining and tasty local Cantonese cuisine as well as world-class exhibitions, entertainment and sports. Hong Kong’s sporting talent burst onto the international scene at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, where the Hong Kong, China Delegation collected a total of six medals, the best ever performance at an Olympics by Hong Kong athletes.

Just beyond the city limits and with easy access by public transport, a green oasis awaits locals and visitors alike, enticing hikers and water sports enthusiasts.

About 40% of Hong Kong’s land mass is designated as country parks and special areas, where people love to go hiking and camping all year round. A number of Marine Parks help to protect and conserve rich local marine resources.

Hong Kong is also known for hosting major arts, cultural and sports events, such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Central, Hong Kong International Film Festival, French May Arts Festival and Hong Kong Sevens (rugby).

Newly-opened Hong Kong Palace Museum.

The magnificent Hong Kong Palace Museum, featuring precious artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum, and M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, are the latest grand additions to the West Kowloon Cultural District, which is the emerging centerpiece of the city’s arts and cultural development.

Promenades are unfolding in stages on each side of iconic Victoria Harbour, providing people with new and convenient locations to relax while taking in the splendid views of the city from sunrise to sunset.

A friendly cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong offers endless opportunities for people from around the globe to work, invest, study and enjoy a high quality of life. Our door is open to professionals, academics and entrepreneurs.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the HKSAR, we welcome people from around the world to join us in working towards a bright and prosperous future.

http://www.hksar25.gov.hk

Heat Is On For Companies To Strengthen ESG Practices

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, once considered a trend for millennials and younger investors, is fast gaining traction as a mainstream requirement for global corporations as the climate crisis intensifies. 

The historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change saw 195 countries and the European Union signing up to a common goal of keeping global temperatures from increasing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, thereby ensuring that carbon emissions and removals offset each other.

The World Meteorological Organization, the foremost authority on global climate, says in its latest report that the odds for the world hitting the target of a yearly average of 1.5 degrees Celsius are 50-50. There is also the likelihood that the five years from 2022 to 2026 will be the hottest on record.

The good news is that an increasing number of organizations, from financial institutions and energy companies to real estate developers and leading manufacturers, are rallying behind governments to reduce carbon footprints and strengthen ESG efforts to achieve net zero targets.

Investors, both retail and institutional, are also aligning their portfolios to ensure that their money goes to responsible companies with clear ESG metrics—ranging from carbon footprint reduction, energy efficiency improvements, employee health and safety to product sustainability, the integrity of the company’s board of directors, and diversity and inclusion efforts across the organization.

One of the financial institutions guiding clients toward ESG investing is LGT Group, the world’s largest family-owned private banking and asset management group based in the microstate of Liechtenstein, a well-known economic powerhouse in Europe. The bank—owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, who, as an entrepreneurial family, has transferred wealth across 26 generations for almost 900 years—provides wealth management services to private banking clients with sustainability as a core focus.

Another banking group, HSBC Global Private Banking, has research figures that indicate more than 82% of investors in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom rate sustainable, environmental and ethical issues as “quite” or “very important” to their investments. The bank is helping investors to future-proof their investment portfolios by choosing companies that are ESG-focused as they tend to deliver stronger earnings. With HSBC’s guidance, investors will also be able to invest while supporting the global movement towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

Product manufacturers, on the other hand, face different challenges as they need to utilize finite raw materials for production. But that is not stopping forward-thinking manufacturers from doing their bit to mitigate global warming.

Indonesia-based Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL Group), one of the largest pulp and paper producers in the world, has in place a one-for-one sustainability goal whereby every hectare of land used for commercial plantation is matched with an equal size of land set aside for conservation. At the company’s mills, 90% of the energy requirements come from renewable sources. APRIL Group also invests a dollar for every ton of fiber that is delivered to the mill, ensuring about US$100 million for conservation and restoration over the next 10 years. The company is leading by example to demonstrate that sustainability is not a zero-sum game and the pursuit of ESG goals need not be at the expense of profitability.

State-owned oil and gas companies are also rebranding themselves as “energy” companies as they transition towards carbon neutrality. One such company is Pertamina, Indonesia’s largest integrated energy company, whose biggest challenge today is energy security—or ensuring the uninterrupted supply of energy at an affordable price across an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands with a population of over 270 million. The company has rolled out several ESG programs and initiatives, such as developing an ecosystem that supports electric vehicles; introducing the use of biogas and waste materials in rural areas; recycling cooking oil; and promoting the conservation and restoration of the coastal and marine ecosystems. Pertamina is also building more solar power plants and harnessing renewable energy from hydro, geothermal and hydrogen as it journeys toward achieving net zero targets in line with the national agenda.

Meanwhile, in the real estate industry, Hong Kong-based Sino Group has signed on to support the United Nations Global Compact in 2020, as well as Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in 2021, becoming one of the first real estate developers in Asia to commit to the global calls-to-action to contribute to a more sustainable future. The Group, having established its presence in Hong Kong for more than 50 years, is also setting targets to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. Guided by its “Creating Better Lifescapes” credo, Sino Group has introduced a wide range of eco-friendly and green initiatives to bring communities closer to nature.

Malaysia’s top corporations are also faring well in sustainability performance while transitioning towards carbon neutrality.

Top Glove, the world’s largest maker of gloves, headquartered in Malaysia, has not only set clear sustainability goals to achieve by FY2025, but it is also holding its management accountable with 40% of the team’s remunerations tied to ESG performance. Today, Top Glove has more sustainable products on offer, such as biodegradable nitrile gloves that can degrade at least 10 times faster than regular gloves, while their factories are increasingly shifting toward greater reliance on solar energy.

For Malaysia’s energy company, PETRONAS, the journey towards sustainability is via the circular economy model: by eliminating waste and pollution, circulating products and materials, and regenerating nature. Moving away gradually from activities that involve the consumption of finite resources, the global company, with a presence in more than 50 countries, is now providing renewable energy such as solar technology solutions and low-carbon fuels like natural gas as part of its energy offerings. In the past three years, PETRONAS has seen a threefold increase in demand for its clean energy and it will continue to scale up in this direction, possibly adding hydrogen as an alternative energy source.