HONG KONG, Nov 27, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Regina Miracle International (Holdings) Limited (“Regina Miracle” or the “Company,” together with its subsidiaries, collectively the “Group”) (HKEX: 2199), a leading global intimate wear company boasting an Innovative Design Manufacturer (“IDM”) business model, has announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2020 (the “Period”).
During the Period under review, the global economy was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group recorded a revenue of HK$2,517.6 million (1HF2020: HK$3,128.7 million) amid the difficult operating environment, representing a year-on-year decline of 19.5%. The decrease in revenue inevitably led to the deleveraging of operations, with gross profit down by 30.8% to HK$487.0 million, and gross profit margin down to 19.3% (1HF2020: approximately HK$703.7 million and 22.5%, respectively). However, owing to the Group’s efforts to proactively broaden sources of income and reduce expenditures, the Group recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of HK$288.3 million with an EBITDA margin of 11.5% (1HF2020: approximately HK$441.8 million and 14.1%, respectively).
The Group recorded a net loss of HK$32.4 million for the Period (1HF2020: net profit of approximately HK$141.4 million) due to the deleveraging of operations and two items of one-off expenses pertaining to the streamlining of production capacity and human resources, including the distribution of severance payments totalling approximately HK$35.0 million to approximately 470 employees, as well as the write-off of fixed assets of approximately HK$9.5 million recorded from surrendering parts of the leased factory in Shenzhen. Basic loss per share attributable to owners of the Company amounted to HK2.6 cents (1HF2020: basic earnings per share of HK11.6 cents). Excluding the aforementioned one-off expenditures, adjusted EBITDA would have been HK$332.8 million, with an EBITDA rate of 13.2%, while the Group would have recorded adjusted net profit of HK$12.1 million, with a net profit margin of 0.5%.
The Group remains in a healthy financial position, with adequate resources to address the Pandemic. In addition to stable operating cash flows, the Group also holds ample cash in hand and total undrawn bank credit of approximately HK$763.4million and HK$2,811.4 million, respectively, as at 30 September 2020 (31 March 2020: HK$587.6 million and HK$2,571 million, respectively)
Mr YY Hung, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director of Regina Miracle, said, “Despite in difficult conditions, Regina Miracle lost no time to embrace the changes to develop and produce fabric face masks for our customers, enabling the Group to better utilize our overall capacity during the Period. Within just a few months, this strategy greatly contributed to revenue generation; We are also pleased to witness certain regions gain control of the Pandemic, thus enabling some of our closer partners to gradually resume operations and place orders starting in the second quarter. As a result, we saw a significant improvement in sales during the second quarter.
Apart from actively exploring market opportunities amid the Pandemic, we also comprehensively reviewed the internal structure and operational model, consequently, we streamlined our manpower and surrendered parts of the leased factory in Shenzhen, in order to improve human resources and production capacity allocation in China and Vietnam in the long run. Such efforts will save recurring operating expenses and increase overall operational efficiency over the long term. This Pandemic has been both a test to and opportunity, being especially beneficial to sizeable businesses such as Regina Miracle, with its multi-regional capacity layout. After a five-year investment period since our listing, we have attained a strengthened factory layout and infrastructure in Vietnam. Leveraging the agile production model, we have continuously improved our production efficiency and flexibility, thereby bolstering the leading edge amid the consolidation of the intimate wear industry.”
Sales of sports bras up by 30% yoy, three new world-renowned retail and sports brand partners are expected to be one of the growth drivers in the coming year
Bras and intimate wear products contributed HK$1,521.0 million in revenue (1HF2020: HK$2,580.3 million), accounting for 60.5% of the total revenue. Gross profit of this segment amounted to HK$298.9 million, with gross profit margin at 19.7% (1HF2020: HK$590.3 million and 22.9%, respectively). The sales of this segment representing a year-on-year decrease of 41.1%, mainly due to the fact that the Pandemic prompted brand partners to either reduce or postpone orders and to scale back their shipments in the first quarter, which dealt a major blow on the traditional business of bras and intimate wear.
Nevertheless, sports bras showing strong resilience stood out as an exceptional performer, with sales up by over 30% from the same period last year, owing to the greater popularity of sports and home exercise amid the heightened public attention to health under the Pandemic. Furthermore, the Group started to reap the benefits from the early-stage investment in development activities with three new world-renowned retail and sports brand partners during the Period, which is not an easy feat given the challenging operational environment, and is expected to serve as one of the growth drivers of this segment in the coming year. In addition, bra top and bra products that provide comfortable and chic lounge wear experiences have also become best sellers during the Pandemic, as reflected by their strong sales performance. The Group has also added several domestic emerging e-commerce brand partners, which will pave the way for future business growth and a more balanced customer portfolio.
Sales from the fabric processing and other accessories for consumer electronics rose by nearly 40%
Revenue from the bra pads and other molded products business amounted to HK$232.4 million (1HF2020: HK$345.6 million), representing a year-on-year decrease of 32.8%, and accounting for 9.2% of the total revenue. Gross profit and gross profit margin from the segment were HK$51.2 million and 22.0%, respectively (1HF2020: HK$74.7 million and 21.6%, respectively).
The revenue decline experienced by this segment was mainly due to lacklustre sales of bra pads induced by the Pandemic, which was largely in-line with the traditional bras and intimate wear segment. However, Regina Miracle has been effective with its cross-industry and cross-product category business expansion efforts in recent years. Sales from the fabric processing and other accessories for consumer electronics produced for its reputable multinational technology partners rose by nearly 40% from the same period last year.
Revenue from functional sports products business substantially up by 92.7% yoy, driven by growing needs for exercise amid Pandemic
The functional sports products business contributed HK$390.7 million in revenue (1HF2020: HK$202.8 million), representing a significant year-on-year uptick of 92.7%, and accounting for 15.5% of the total revenue. The segment also recorded a gross profit of HK$67.2 million and a gross profit margin of 17.2% (1HF2020: HK$38.7 million and 19.1%, respectively).
Higher revenue from this segment was mainly due to the popularity of sports products in recent years, which maintained resilient growth despite the Pandemic. Other drivers include greater awareness of the need to exercise amid the Pandemic, the increasing popularity of “working from home”, and travel restrictions imposed by many countries. Such developments resulted in greater market demand for products that are comfortable, suitable for lounging at home, light exercising.
In terms of footwear, the Group’s single-major American casual footwear brand partner mainly sells its products online, and this sub-segment was able to sustain double-digit sales growth during the Period.
With regard to the sportswear business, Regina Miracle has continued to develop innovative products for international sports and leisure brand partners by leveraging its unique development capabilities and craftsmanship, leading to satisfactory sales performance by the sub-segment.
Make best use of capacity to enter pandemic prevention products (“PPP”) business
Targeting the surging market demand for anti-epidemic products in the wake of the Pandemic, the Group has engaged in relevant research and development (“R&D”) and produced fabric face masks for its customers starting in March by making best use of its existing resources and technologies. With deliveries commencing in the first quarter, the PPP business has contributed HK$373.4 million in revenue in less than half a year and has accounted for 14.8% of total revenue. The segment has recorded a gross profit of HK$69.7 million and a gross profit margin of 18.7%. The segment derives the largest portion of its revenue from fabric face masks that are manufactured by the Vietnam factories and designated for its European and American brand partners.
Vietnam’s production increased to nearly 80%, comprehensively examine the internal structure and operational model to improve the production efficiency
The Group has largely completed its factory layout at the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (“VSIP”) in Hai Phong City, Vietnam. Benefiting from the satisfactory growth of sports bras and comfortable lounging bra products, the Group’s core business has gradually returned to normal. Thus, recruitment has resumed since July, driving output in the second quarter. As of 30 September 2020, production in Vietnam accounted for approximately 76% of the total revenue, up from approximately 65% last year.
It has been the Group’s top priority to improve production efficiency of its factories in China and Vietnam. The Pandemic has only strengthened the Group’s resolve to comprehensively examine its internal structure and operational model. Consequently, it introduced a plan to streamline human resources and surrender parts of the leased factory in Shenzhen. Not only will these result in savings on operating expenses, it will also optimise human resources and production capacity in the long run, which in turn will raise operational efficiency. As Vietnam’s production efficiency continues to improve, and the number of employees and new production lines in Vietnam continue to increase, the overall production capacity of the Group in Vietnam will further increase to meet business needs.
Business has steadily resumed the growth momentum, confident in business recovery and sustainable growth
In entering the second half of 2020, the Group’s brand partners have gradually adapted to the new normal in the post-Pandemic period after clearing their inventories, orders of core bras and intimate wear products have improved significantly when compared with the first half. Leveraging its IDM capabilities and flexible response, the Regina Miracle team has been able to actively develop products that can generate demand for its brand partners, driving a surge in overall orders the Group received in the second half of Fiscal 2021 when compared with the first half, and is expected to return to a positive growth year-over-year. The management considers the short-term challenges arising from the Pandemic are behind us and the business has steadily resumed its growth momentum, and is confident that the Group’s business will return to the right track and maintain satisfactory growth.
Although the PPP business has contributed to revenue generation during the review period, the Group will uphold the principle of prioritizing its core businesses, and pour considerable R&D and production resources into its long-term strength – the core businesses as they resume. In respect of product types, aside from the rising demand for household and comfortable intimate wear, the Pandemic has also driven a new “home exercise” trend that is expected to continue driving resilient and sustainable growth in demand for light sportswear and functional sports products. The production of comfortable and value-for-money household and functional sports products are strengths that Regina Miracle possesses, the Group trusts that these products will remain one of its major growth drivers going forward.
The Group has also updated its strategies for market penetration and customer portfolio. Consequently, Regina Miracle has further expanded its presence in China over the past six months and will gradually increase its proportion of domestic orders. China is not only among the few countries that has been able to quickly gain control of the Pandemic, but is also an economy that has been able to achieve a prompt post-Pandemic recovery. The Group, optimistic about the huge development potential of this market, has added some domestic e-commerce customers this year. This has helped it to withstand the impact of the Pandemic on its business, expand its customer base, achieve more balanced and sound market distribution, enhance its resilience to risk and prepare for future business growth.
The Pandemic has also proved to be a catalyst for online shopping. Online purchased products require the simplification of their sizes, this resulted in better sales of comfortable household products, whose development has been emphasised by Regina Miracle since a few years ago. As such, the Group has also been able to keep abreast of the latest trends and promptly cater for the needs of its brand partners.
In respect of capacity planning, the Group has largely completed its production capacity layout in Vietnam, which is sufficient for the Group’s development in the next three years. Future development will focus on bolstering production effectiveness and efficiency as well as allocating production capacity in line with demand from emerging markets and brand partners in the Post-Pandemic Era. Part of footwear production has been gradually transferred from the Shenzhen factory to Vietnam Factory E, with the transfer set to be completed in the first half of 2021. The Group’s facility in Hung Yen Province of Vietnam, which operates principally with seamless knitting technology, experienced a modest impact on construction schedule due to the Pandemic. Its first phase is now undergoing fitting-out and is scheduled to commence operation in the first half of next year.
As for the Shenzhen factory which is expected to become even more efficient with a streamlined structure, it will focus on R&D as well as expansion of the domestic China market with brand partners. The Shenzhen factory has also undergone upgrade and transformation to support the fabric processing and other accessories for high value-added consumer electronic products. The Shenzhen facility serves as another production location, along with the Vietnamese factories, for expanding the Group’s domestic business.
Mr Hung concluded, “We will continue to leverage the solid foundation brought by our leadership and a superior brand customer base to best utilise our strengths. We strive for strengthening our unique position as an innovation partner for brand customers while capturing enormous business opportunities brought by the ‘Post-Pandemic New Normal’. This will involve the judicious and timely optimisation of our product portfolio and market development strategies. We are pleased to see that market demand has picked up following the adjustment of the industry, and are confident that the overall business trend will continue to improve, which will in turn create long-term value for brand partners and shareholders.”
About Regina Miracle International (Holdings) Limited
Founded in Hong Kong in 1998, Regina Miracle International (Holdings) Limited is a global leader in the intimate wear manufacturing industry. Adopting the innovative design manufacturer (“IDM”) business model, Regina Miracle offers its world-renowned brand partners diverse intimate wear and functional sports products, including bras, sports bras, panties, shapewear, bra pads, functional sports apparel, footwear, pandemic prevention products (such as face masks and protective clothing), etc. The Group has two strategic strongholds – its R&D and production base in Shenzhen, China, and a major production base in Vietnam, where the Group has expanded production capacity since 2016.
Copyright © 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
ABC International is Giving Redsun Properties “Buy” Rating with Target Price at HK$3.8
HONG KONG, Jan 18, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Redsun Properties Group Limited (“Redsun Properties”, or the “Group”, stock code: 1996) a leading comprehensive property developer in Mainland China has been given a “Buy” rating by ABC International, with a target price of HK$3.8 backed by its impressive sales and steady rental.
Driven by favorable geographic exposure to Yangtze River Delta region (“YRD”), Redsun Properties’ contracted sales rose from RMB 25.7 billion in 2017 to RMB 86.5 billion in 2020, implying a CAGR of 50%. In 1H20, YRD accounts for 77% of the total contracted sales amount. As of June 2020, the Group had a landbank GFA of 18.37mn sqm, of which 55%, 18% and 27% of the landbank is located in Jiangsu, YRD ex. Jiangsu (mainly Zhejiang and Anhui), and other key cities in China.
ABC International believes that the “Property+ Commercial” model of Redsun Properties enhances the chances of acquiring land at a low cost. While developing residential properties, the Group also operates a range of commercial properties that include shopping malls, amusement parks, community entertainment centers, hotels and office buildings. Most of these commercial property buildings are adjacent to the Group’s residential property projects, providing ancillary services for residents and supporting prices of the residential property projects. For example, the average land cost of the Anqing Commercial and Residential Complex was RMB1,846/sqm with an expected gross profit margin of no less than 30%.
ABC International also believes that the Group has a strong recurring income. As of June 2020, the Group operated three Hong Yang Plazas located in Nanjing in Jiangsu, Changzhou in Jiangsu, and Yantai in Shandong, respectively. Among the 11 malls to commence operation after 2020, three are asset-heavy while the rest are developed under the asset-light model. The Group targets to open the three asset-heavy malls in 2022-23. Driven by the rising rent rates, the Group’s rental revenue increased at 57% CAGR from RMB166 million in 2017 to RMB411 million in 2019, and grew 14% YoY to RMB213mn in 1H20.
About Redsun Properties Group Limited (“Redsun Properties”) (stock code: 1996)
Redsun Properties Group Limited (“Redsun Properties” or “The Group”) is a leading comprehensive developer in China, focusing on the development of residential properties and the development, operation and management of commercial and comprehensive properties. The Group has established a steady regional leading position in Jiangsu Province by taking root in Nanjing, Jiangsu and Yangtze River Delta. Since the incorporation of Nanjing Redsun in 1999, Redsun Properties has worked in the sector of property development and sales for 20 years, established the
Hong Yang brand and received widespread recognition for the development capacity and industry position.
While developing residential properties, Redsun Properties also operates commercial complexes covering shopping malls, amusement parks and community centers, hotels and office buildings. Most of the commercial property buildings are adjacent to the Group’s residential property projects, providing ancillary services for the residents and also increasing the value of the Group’s residential property projects.
Redsun Properties is a constituent of the MSCI China Small Cap Index, Hang Seng Composite Index and Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Index.
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
Greenbriar Provides Montalva Update
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Jan 18, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Greenbriar Capital Corp. (TSXV: GRB) (OTC Pink: GEBRF) (“Greenbriar”) is pleased to announce that on January 20th, 2021, a new President will be sworn into office in the United States. The Company believes the new administration and the House and the Senate, which is majority controlled by the same political party of the new President, will strongly advocate for the FOMB (Federal Oversight and Management Board) to approve the previously approved 593MW of solar projects, including Montalva.
Although the exact day is not known by Greenbriar, we do know that the US Congress is specifically aware of the significant financial savings and health benefits to the Puerto Rican ratepayer in having these approved contracts accepted by the FOMB.
Puerto Ricans have had to suffer for decades with extremely high priced electrical generation that was also dirty, hazardous, inefficient and costly to human health and dependent on foreign oil sources. The technology was 60 years old and virtually no modern society in North America, except Hawaii and some Caribbean islands, burn dirty oil to produce electricity.
All of the solar projects, including Montalva, which has the greatest financial and health benefits to the Island, have already been approved by PREPA and the independent consumer regulator, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB). We look forward to this formal completion.
About Greenbriar Capital Corp
Greenbriar is a leading developer of sustainable real estate and renewable energy. With long-term, high impact, contracted sales agreements in key project locations and led by a successful, industry-recognized operating and development team, Greenbriar targets deep valued assets directed at accretive shareholder value. The company will also grant 350,000 3 year stock options at $2.00 CDN to Paul Morris, BA, MA, JD.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski
Chief Executive Officer and Director
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, constitute “forward-looking statements” and include any information that addresses activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including the Company’s strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management’s expectations or estimates of future performance.
To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/72239
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
SinoMab Dosed First Healthy Subject in Phase I Clinical Trial of SN1011 in China
HONG KONG, Jan 18, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – SinoMab BioScience Limited (“SinoMab” or the “Company”, stock code: 3681.HK), a Hong Kong-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of therapeutics for the treatment of immunological diseases, is pleased to announce that the first healthy subject was successfully dosed in the Phase I clinical trial of SN1011, an innovative third-generation covalent reversible Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (“BTK”) inhibitor drug candidate, today in Shuguan Hospital in Shanghai, China. The subject is currently in a normal condition.
SN1011 is the third generation, covalent reversible Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (“BTK”) inhibitor designed for higher selectivity and superior efficacy for the long-term treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, pemphigus, multiple sclerosis and other immunological diseases. SN1011 differentiates from existing BTK inhibitors currently available in the market, such as Ibrutinib, in terms of selectivity and affinity. The Phase I clinical trial was conducted in Shuguan Hospital in Shanghai, aiming to evaluate safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and recommended Phase II dose of SN1011 in treatment for autoimmune diseases. SinoMab received the approval of SN1011’s Investigational New Drug application (“IND”) from the National Medical Products Administration of China on 27 August 2020, taking less than 5 months to progress into the current dosing stage, which utterly proves the Company’s efficient implementation of new drug R&D programs.
Dr. Weian YUAN, Principal Investigator from Shuguan Hospital in Shanghai for this Phase I Study, said, “So far, there are a number of BTK inhibitors that have been approved, but there is no third-generation BTK inhibitor that is yet approved. Since the third generation BTK inhibitor has much lower effective dose and a better safety profile, it makes SN1011 a promising product to bring patients a much better treatment.”
Dr. Shui On LEUNG, Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of SinoMab, said, “SN1011 successfully completed its first dose, representing another key R&D asset entering the stage of clinical trial following our flagship product, SM03. This is a prominent milestone along SinoMab’s progress in the R&D of various products for autoimmune diseases. Last year we launched the multiple ascending dose cohorts for SN1011 in Australia. SN1011, which shows great safety in clinical trials, possesses advantages of working just in a small dose and continuously benefitting patients, outperforming other BTK inhibitors in the market. We are absolutely confident in the enormous prospects of SN1011’s clinical development. We will accelerate the program in the future, hoping to provide safe, effective and affordable drugs for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases around the world.”
Bruton tyrosine kinase is a key kinase in the BCR signaling pathway in the B cell. Owing to the fact that loss of BTK exerts great impact on B cell development, targeting BTK becomes an attractive therapeutic means for autoimmune disease. SN1011 is a third generation BTK inhibitor which is covalent reversible in binding nature. It has unique chemical structure which renders it high binding affinity and selectivity towards BTK and excellent bioavailability in animal model. SN1011 has better efficacy and safety than other BTK inhibitors in pre-clinical studies. These data support the long-term usage for the treatment of autoimmune diseases in human.
About SinoMab BioScience Limited
SinoMab BioScience Limited (“SinoMab” or the “Company”, stock code: 3681.HK) is dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of therapeutics for the treatment of immunological diseases. The Company’s flagship product SM03 is a potential global first-in-target mAb against CD22 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and is currently in Phase III clinical trial for rheumatoid arthritis in China, which has been recognized as one of the significant special projects of Significant New Drugs Development of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan Period and the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan Period. In addition, the Company possesses other potential first-in-target and first-in-class drug candidates, some of which are already in clinical stage, with their indications covering rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, asthma, and other diseases with major unmet clinical needs.
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
14th Asian Financial Forum opens today
HONG KONG, Jan 18, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Co-organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 14th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) opened today on a virtual platform. Under the theme “Reshaping the World Economic Landscape”, the two-day forum runs round the clock across different time zones, examining the current economic landscape and exploring global business opportunities with more than 160 influential policymakers, financial experts, investors, business leaders and economists.
|Co-organised by the HKSAR Government and HKTDC, the 14th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) opened on a virtual platform. Among the keynote speakers this year is Paul Romer, 2018 Nobel Laureate for Economic Sciences and policy entrepreneur, who analysed the current state of the global economy and posited the path towards a new and sustainable growth engine.|
|Chaired by Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government, the panel’s distinguished speakers included Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg; Jin Liqun, President & Chairman of AIIB; Bandar M H Hajjar, President, Islamic Development Bank Group; Marcos Troyjo, President, New Development Bank; Teresa Czerwinska, VP, European Investment Bank; and Sean Fleming, Minister of State at the Department of Finance of Ireland|
The policy dialogue session this morning was themed “Policy Responses to COVID-19”, with distinguished speakers including Ahmed Alkholifey, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank; Jessica Chew, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Malaysia; Ryozo Himino, Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency of Japan; and Martin Raiser, Country Director, China and Mongolia, and Director, Korea of the World Bank
Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, officiated at the forum’s opening ceremony, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought both risks and opportunities. She explained that although participants from around the world were not physically able to attend the AFF this year, the online event would still offer invaluable financial wisdom and insights, the opportunity to exchange ideas and build business relations, and a chance to learn more about different alternatives for business investment. Mrs Lam also pointed out that as an international financial centre and one of the world’s great business hubs, Hong Kong is uniquely positioned to attract tremendous opportunities in the post-pandemic period.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr Peter Lam, Chairman of the HKTDC, said: “The Asian Financial Forum traditionally opens the new year by bringing together leaders from the financial industry and the corporate world to address the major issues of the day. Given the huge challenges faced globally in 2020, our theme of ‘Reshaping the World Economic Landscape’ for this year’s forum is especially meaningful. The events of last year have not only reshaped the global economy but also led to lasting changes in many aspects of our lives. That is why this year’s AFF is more important in helping find ways to address these changes. One thing that’s significantly different this year is the digital format for AFF. The power of technology enables us to welcome participants and speakers from every corner of the world to explore ways to facilitate the global economic recovery and explore issues ranging from technology innovation to sustainable development.”
Guo Shuqing, Secretary of Party Committee of the People’s Bank of China and Chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, delivered the keynote speech at the opening ceremony. He said: “Today’s world is witnessing historic changes. Asia may once again play a prominent development role in global civilisation as it did a few centuries ago. As an international financial centre, Hong Kong is embracing the opportunities of the new century. We firmly believe Hong Kong will become more stable and prosperous in its role as a global financial hub. The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually recede. We will work together with other countries to share the opportunities and benefits of globalisation.”
Nobel Laureate economist examines current economic outlook
Despite the move to a new online format, AFF continues to feature a star-studded lineup of speakers. Among the keynote speakers this year is Paul Romer, 2018 Nobel Laureate for Economic Sciences and policy entrepreneur, who analysed the current state of the global economy and posited the path towards a new and sustainable growth engine. Mr Romer said that 2020 was the year in which Asia significantly outperformed Europe and the United States, explaining: “The danger in the US and Europe was that people thought they already knew what to do – just doing what they had always done. But this is the mindset that kills innovation.”
He believes that, despite the uncertainties, the world has entered a new era with low inflation, low interest rates, and an expected recovery from the pandemic. “If we can maintain that mindset of innovation and experimentation, we can continue to progress,” he said.
Reshaping the world economic landscape
The AFF’s plenary session addressed the salient issue of “Reshaping the World Economic Landscape”. Chaired by Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government, the panel’s distinguished speakers included Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg; Jin Liqun, President and Chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Bandar M H Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group; Marcos Troyjo, President of the New Development Bank; Teresa Czerwinska, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank; and Sean Fleming, Minister of State at the Department of Finance of Ireland. Together they examined how the financial services sector can contribute to the recovery of the global economy and what opportunities await in the new economic landscape.
In the face of the global pandemic, many governments employed unconventional financial policies to roll out large-scale fiscal stimulus packages. The policy dialogue session this morning was themed “Policy Responses to COVID-19”, with distinguished speakers including Ahmed Alkholifey, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank; Jessica Chew, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Malaysia; Ryozo Himino, Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency of Japan; and Martin Raiser, Country Director, China and Mongolia, and Director, Korea of the World Bank. The experts shared insights on the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies in supporting growth, and the implications of the increasing use of financial technology from the perspective of regulators.
Panel addresses global economic outlook and sustainable investment
The global banking industry have been reacting quickly to transform its business in light of the current environment of low interest rates, increased compliance requirements and digital innovation, together with the raft of challenges brought by the pandemic. In the afternoon session titled “Global Economic Outlook”, chaired by Victor Chu, Chairman & CEO of First Eastern Investment Group, business leaders from the banking and financial sectors shared their thoughts on the outlook for the global banking industry, while considering how banks should respond to regulatory changes and advances in technology. The distinguished panel of speakers included Laura Cha, Chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Jean Lemierre, Chairman of BNP Paribas; Liu Liange, Chairman of the Board of Bank of China Limited; Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG; Jose Vinals, Group Chairman of Standard Chartered PLC; and Wong Kan-seng, Chairman of United Overseas Bank Limited.
As socially responsible investment and impact investment gain stronger ground, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into investment decisions, creating long-term value for corporations and generating higher returns for investors. The discussion on “Responsible and Impact Investment” analysed the long-term prospects for sustainable investing with a panel that included Yoshio Hishida, President of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management; Amy Lo, Chairman, Executive Committee, Private Wealth Management Association, and Head and Chief Executive, UBS Hong Kong Branch; Jena Raby, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers; Vineet Rai, Founder and Chairman of the Aavishkaar Group; and George H Walker, Chairman and CEO of Neuberger Berman. The discussion was chaired by Jonathan Drew, Managing Director, ESG Solutions, Global Banking of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. The subsequent dialogue session with Mark Tucker, Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc, took a deeper dive into the topic of climate change and ESG.
Other notable figures sharing their thoughts in the various dialogue sessions today were Lei Zhang, Founder and CEO of Hillhouse Capital Management; and Philippe Brassac, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Agricole SA.
Industry leaders analyse emerging issues
The green economy, 5G and innovation have become important elements of economic development in recent years. The afternoon session, “Greening the Economy with 5G and Innovation”, was chaired by Wilson Chow, Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader of PwC, with speakers including David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government; Grace Hui, Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Gordon Guo, Deputy Head, Internet & Enterprise Solution Division, China Mobile Hong Kong; and Sammie Leung, Climate and Sustainability Leader of PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are gaining more attention in global markets. As a premier international financial centre and the world’s largest offshore renminbi hub, Hong Kong is well positioned to facilitate the exploration and expansion of CBDCs at the cross-boundary level. In a discussion themed “The Evolving Central Bank Digital Currency Landscape”, panellists shared insights on potential use cases for CBDCs and how Hong Kong’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem can get better equipped for the opportunities that lie ahead. The speakers included the Financial Services Development Council’s Chairman, Laurence Li, and Executive Director, Au King-lun; Henri Arslanian, Global Crypto Leader and Partner, PwC; Shusong Ba, Managing Director and Chief China Economist, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, and Chief Economist of the China Banking Association; Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government; and Benedicte Nolens, Head of BIS Innovation Hub, Hong Kong Centre.
New “Dialogues for Tomorrow” series explores future of different industries
This year’s AFF sees the inauguration of the “Dialogues for Tomorrow” series. The two-day programme will discuss the future of different sectors such as banking, insurance, fintech, energy, healthcare, food and agriculture and big tech. Distinguished speakers taking part include Melissa Guzy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Arbor Ventures; Florian Kemmerich, Managing Partner of Bamboo Capital Partners; Randall S Kroszner, Deputy Dean of Executive Programs and Norman R Bobins Professor of Economics of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Mary Huen, CEO of Hong Kong, Standard Chartered; Maaike Seinebach, General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau of Visa Inc; Sally Wan, CEO of AXA Hong Kong and Macau; Ming Yang, Chief Financial Officer of Daqo New Energy; and Tao Zhang, Founder and Managing Director of Dao Ventures & Dao Foods International.
Online showcase for fintech and start-ups with 140-plus institutions
The AFF includes the Fintech Showcase, FintechHK Startup Salon, InnoVenture Salon and Global Investment Zone, with more than 140 local and overseas international financial institutions, technology enterprises, start-ups and investment agencies coming together to give online presentations on the latest trends in fintech innovation and next-generation business ideas, helping industries from different parts of the world to explore investment opportunities. Exhibitors include Mox Bank, a start-up group from Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, PAO Bank and Airwallex. In addition, this year’s AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session again connects investors with project owners from around the world covering different areas including the Internet of Things, digital technology, healthtech, fintech, education, environment and energy, food and agriculture, infrastructure and real estate. With one-on-one meetings organised on a virtual platform this year, a record number of participants is expected.
The InnoVenture Salon continues to empower start-up enterprises by building connections with international investors and potential business partners, joining hands with Hong Kong financial regulators to solve start-up problems. The HKTDC, 500 Startups and FWD Group are also jointly presenting the inaugural “AFF Accelerate”, an open innovation challenge inviting start-up entrepreneurs to devise insurance technology solutions for the insurance industry, bringing innovative ideas into the commercial world.
Two keynote speakers and more financial leaders on second day of AFF
Sharing their insights on innovation, artificial intelligence and venture capital investing tomorrow (19 January) will be two keynote speakers, Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit and Seven Seven Six, and Luc Julia, Co-creator of Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. Kicking off tomorrow’s proceedings will be two panel discussions covering “Asset and Wealth Management Industry in the Post-COVID Era” and “Climate Change Risks and Opportunities for Insurance”. In addition, a dialogue session moderated by Antony Leung, Group Chairman & CEO of the Nan Fung Group, will feature Stephen A Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone.
– Asian Financial Forum: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/
– AFF programme: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/s/programme
– AFF speakers: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/speaker/main
– Photo download: https://bit.ly/3bJfBk6
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
HKTDC’s Communications & Public Affairs Department
Angel Tang, Tel: +852 2584 4544, Email: [email protected]
Sam Ho, Tel: +852 2584 4569, Email: [email protected]
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4472, Email: [email protected]
Copyright © 2021 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
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