GBA Briefs: 5/15/2020

  • A pilot previously given the all-clear for Covid-19 after his return to Hong Kong from London a month ago has tested preliminary positive for the coronavirus during a trip to a local hospital for surgery. If confirmed, the infection is likely to raise concerns over further transmission of the disease, after the man came into contact with more than a dozen people at Princess Margaret Hospital. SCMP.
  • It will soon become cheaper for mainland residents to buy critical-illness insurance in the Greater Bay Area. This is thanks to the China Actuary Association, which recently released the “Prevalence Rate of Major Disease Experience in the Chinese Life Insurance Industry”. It includes for the first time a “GBA Table” for serious diseases, which is seen as a prerequisite for the launch of GBA-wide critical-illness insurance products. This is the first time in China that a region – the nine Guangdong cities of the GBA – have been able to set their own differentiated pricing for insurance. It is expected to being premiums closer to the levels enjoyed in Hong Kong and Macau and, eventually, result in their cross-border equalization.  SCN.

  • Guangdong has sped ahead of the rest of the country in issuing local bonds, setting new records on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange this week with a series of issues totalling 103.51 billion yuan. The fund-raising will be used for infrastructure development, which is expected to boost the regional economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Yicai.
  • Leading central government agencies, including the PBOC, have jointly released a series of 26 measures designed to accelerate and promote cross-border financial integration in the GBA. These are focused on strengthening the roles of Hong Kong and Macau as offshore RMB centers, as well as establishing roadmaps for increasing flows of multiple currencies across borders in the region. SCN.
  • Hong Kong landlord Chinachem Group is charging close to zero base rents as part of relief measures offered to some of its tenants in its Tsim Sha Tsui shopping centres since March. Tenants selling duty-free products targeted mainly at mainland tourists have been offered the favourable terms to power through the city’s worst recession on record. SCMP.

Tell us what you think