Hong Kong’s Push to Lure Family Offices
Hong Kong’s push to attract more global investors and family offices is rapidly gaining steam. This week, the nation’s Financial Services Development Council published a report outlining ways to make the island a more attractive hub for global family offices.
FSDC identified four key areas of potential reform, including making the financial licensing system more flexible and transparent, providing favorable tax treatments to foriegn high networth individuals, tailoring educational programs to meet the talent needs of family offices and the establishment of a one-stop service center to help foreign investors set up family offices in Hong Kong.
A few weeks ago, Rex Ho, FSDC New Business Committee member, indicated that these measures were being considered to boost capital flow and job creation in the country. “The reason why we recommend giving tax incentives to family offices for them to base here is to create social benefit to Hong Kong including job opportunity,” he told the Standard.
Hong Kong’s position as the dominant financial hub in Asia is looking increasingly shaky after the implementation of China’s new national security law. According to the Financial Times, rivals such as Tokyo and Singapore are trying to snatch Hong Kong’s crown by offering their own generous incentives.
Tokyo recently rolled out visa waivers, tax advice and free office space for finance professionals from Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Singapore has introduced a new corporate structure, known as the Variable Capital Company, to lure the assets of institutions, hedge funds and family offices away from not just Hong Kong, but also the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
The ongoing battle between these megacities could make the entire region much more hospitable to the world’s wealthiest families and investors.