The appointment of Jerome Powell as head of the US Federal Reserve will not affect the rising trend in the American interest rate.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan made the statement to reporters today, saying: “His appointment would not affect the trend of increasing (the) interest rate in the US and, according to observers, his position is more inclined to the position taken by Dr (Janet) Yellen.
“So our assessment is that Mr Powell’s appointment will not affect the interest rate increasing trend.”
Mr Chan said a possible tax cut in the US, coupled with President Donald Trump’s earlier pledge to increase infrastructure spending, will offer a positive outlook for the US economy and will affect interest rates.
Hong Kong must be vigilant Mr Chan said, as its interest rate will inevitably go up under the linked exchange rate system, although the magnitude and timing will depend on various factors.
He added the change in the flow of international capital may bring risks to Hong Kong’s asset price, including the property sector and the stock market.
“So we have to be very careful, and I just want to remind our citizens that please do watch out, look after your own risk management.”
On Hong Kong ranking fifth in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report, Mr Chan said the city is still competitive but there is no room for complacence.
He agreed with the report’s remarks on the inadequacy of Hong Kong’s current insolvency system, adding a bill will be tabled to introduce a statutory corporate rescue procedure to help strengthen the regime.