(Yicai Global) Jan. 17 -- Fintech can create new resonance between China's mainland and Hong Kong along with the integration of the greater bay area covering Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau.
Yicai Global held the Asian Financial Forum under the theme "Financial Development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area: The Future of FinTech" in Hong Kong on Jan. 15, with many leading industry figures in attendance.
Tu Guangshao, the vice chairman of China Investment Corporation, and Li Yang, chairman of the National Institution for Finance and Development, delivered keynote speeches. Yang Yanqing, deputy editor-in-chief at Yicai Newspaper and managing director of the Yicai Think Tank, presided over the forum, and discussed the relationship between technology and finance. Chen Jiaqiang, an associate professor at the HKUST Business School, Yu Shengfa, vice president of Ant Financial Services Group and Ma Zhitao, vice president and chief information officer at Tencent Holdings' WeBank, discussed the future development of fintech in the region. Huang Leping, managing director of China International Capital Corporation, and Li Kaixiang executive director of Dell's global technology transformation unit, were also present.
Rebuilding the Financial Landscape With Fintech
Fintech is changing competition patterns across asset management globally.
The use of technology has facilitated the integration of the asset management industry, while also providing opportunities for differentiated competition, said CIC Vice-Chairman Tu Guangshao.
Fintech applications have resulted in the size of hedge funds shrinking in recent years, Tu said, adding that the use of big data and new trading methods have narrowed the arbitrage space for hedge fund strategies.
Fintech has also enriched asset management products and tools, he said. Big data allows customized products to continue to grow, and quantitative, high-frequency, and algorithmic transactions rely heavily on the sector.
Several Chinese emerging private banks have invested a lot of human and financial resources in fintech to reconstruct their financial businesses and optimize operations.
Ant Financial has been working to improve its fintech capabilities and use it to serve the entire financial industry, said Yu Shengfa, the company's vice president.
Fintech is an important means for extending financial services, which requires manpower and resources to build, reduces service costs, and supports the needs of the target customer base, said WeBank CIO Ma Zhitao.
Regulation Must Keep Pace With Tech
Fintech also brings new risks and calls for higher-level regulation, according to an industry insider.
The sector's players must firmly follow the basic path of serving the real economy when developing fintech, and avoid repeating the old path of internet finance, said Li Yang, the chairman of the National Institution for Finance and Development, adding that the development of fintech should have a clearer direction, rather than being used as a concept for making hype.
Data segmentation and digitization were two issues that require resolution in the field of big data, Li noted.
FinTech Promotes Greater Bay Area Integration
Hong Kong is home to a first-class international financial platform, while other urban agglomerations in the region have more abundant fintech resources. Engineering advantages in China's mainland also provide more technical talents for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong boasts a mature financial services market and a strong regulatory system but it lacks skilled fintech talents, so it needs to attract engineers from China's mainland and combine its advantages in international finance with information and computer technology to propel the development of the greater bay area, Chen Jiaqiang and Li Kaixiang commented.
The region will also provide opportunities for cooperation between financial institutions and industries in the urban agglomeration, said Ma Zhitao, adding that the region's financial institutions have significant room for cooperation and present great opportunities to work with industries.
The biggest opportunity for the region lies in border crossing, said Huang Leping and Chen Jiaqiang. "With Hong Kong's international platform and the region's market, we can build fintech firms that are internationally competitive, able to be replicated and exported," they said. "This is the significance of the greater bay area and of course, this cannot be done by a few organizations. It needs policy adjustments and sector players must work with regulators to open up the market."