Hong Kong Bourse to Keep Trading Through Severe Weather

Hong Kong's stock exchange will implement new rules in September to continue trading through inclement weather. Peter PARKS / AFP
Hong Kong's stock exchange will implement new rules in September to continue trading through inclement weather. Peter PARKS / AFP
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Hong Kong Bourse to Keep Trading Through Severe Weather

Hong Kong's stock exchange will implement new rules in September to continue trading through inclement weather. Peter PARKS / AFP
Hong Kong's stock exchange will implement new rules in September to continue trading through inclement weather. Peter PARKS / AFP

Hong Kong's stock exchange will continue trading through typhoons and heavy storms from September, the city's leader announced Tuesday.
The bourse in the international finance hub typically suspends trading when a strong typhoon signal or "black rainstorm warning" is hoisted, meaning several days are lost each year, said AFP.
Southern China is accustomed to seeing seasonal typhoons in the latter half of the year, but climate change has made tropical storms more unpredictable while increasing their intensity.
On Tuesday, John Lee said that from September 23 investors can trade as usual "when the typhoon signal number eight or above is hoisted in Hong Kong, or even during a black rainstorm warning".
"Shenzhen and Shanghai are now trading in bad weather. There is no reason why Hong Kong, as an international financial center, should not follow suit," he added.
"Non-stop trading in inclement weather can strengthen the competitiveness of the Hong Kong Exchange," he said, adding that the September timeframe would give the industry time to prepare.
Katerine Kou, chair of Hong Kong Securities Association, said discussion on the move had been ongoing for a year given the city's role as "a super connector between the Chinese market and the global market".
"I think Hong Kong as a whole, including the exchange, have been trying to score more points, and to enhance its global competitiveness," Kou told AFP. "This is definitely a score-winning move."
Last year, the city raised its highest T10 warning -- for Typhoon Saola -- for only the 16th time since World War II.
A week after Saola, Hong Kong was flooded by the heaviest rainfall in nearly 140 years, leaving its streets inundated and subway stations waterlogged.
According to a consultation paper from the city's bourse proposing trading continue through bad weather, the exchange was impacted by severe weather four times in 2023, "including three full-day market suspensions".
"During such trading suspensions, investors are unable to manage their portfolios and are exposed to potential market risks, especially in scenarios where the markets of their underlying positions are open," it said.



UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's government borrowed a lot more than forecast in June, according to official data published on Friday that highlighted the big budget challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Keir Starmer.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding state-controlled banks, was a larger-than-expected 14.5 billion pounds ($18.75 billion) last month. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to an increase of 11.5 billion pounds.
Dennis Tatarkov, Senior Economist at KPMG UK, said the data showed "the daunting task" for the new government to fund its agenda without worsening the public finances.
"A combination of high levels of spending and weak growth prospects will present uncomfortable choices – deciding between even more borrowing or substantially raising taxes if spending levels are to be maintained," he said.
New finance minister Rachel Reeves is likely to announce her first budget after parliament's summer recess. She and Starmer have ruled out increases in the rates of income tax, corporation tax and value-added tax, leaving her little room for maneuver to improve public services and boost investment.
Reeves has ordered an immediate review of the new government's "spending inheritance", a move that lawmakers from the opposition Conservative Party say could presage increases in taxes on capital gains or inheritances.
"Today's figures are a clear reminder that this government has inherited the worst economic circumstances since the Second World War, but we’re wasting no time to fix it," Darren Jones, a deputy Treasury minister, said after the data was published.
Starmer's government says it will speed up Britain's slow-moving economy - and generate more tax revenues - via a combination of pro-growth reforms and a return to political stability that will attract investment.
The borrowing figure for June was 2.9 billion pounds higher than expected by Britain's budget watchdog whose forecasts underpin government tax and spending plans.
In the first three months of the financial year which began in April, borrowing was 3.2 billion pounds higher than projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility at 49.8 billion pounds.
The Office for National Statistics said June's borrowing was the lowest for the month since 2019, helped by a big drop in spending on interest paid on bonds linked to inflation which has slowed sharply.
But the deficit was made bigger by a 1.2 billion-pound fall in social security contributions compared with June 2023. They were cut by former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before the July 4 election that swept Starmer's Labour Party to power.