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HK logs 3.3k COVID-19 cases

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 3,362 additional locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 493 were identified through nucleic acid tests and 2,869 via rapid antigen tests.   Separately, 118 imported cases were detected.   Furthermore, seven residential care homes for the elderly and one for disabled people logged nine cases involving their residents.   The Hospital Authority reported that 33 patients passed away in public hospitals. According to a preliminary analysis, the cause of death for 13 patients was related to COVID-19, while that of the remaining 20 patients was unrelated.   It also registered six more critical cases, bringing the number of patients in critical condition to 99.   As there were positive sewage test results with relatively high viral loads in several areas of Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Kowloon City districts, the respective district offices will distribute COVID-19 rapid test kits to relevant residents as well as cleaning

Financial sharing session held

The Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau today held a thematic sharing session at the Central Government Offices to foster a better understanding among government officials as well as members of financial regulators and advisory bodies on the country's financial development strategy and regulatory mindset for the financial sector.   China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai was invited to introduce the recent measures to reform and open up the Mainland securities and futures markets as well as the future development direction through video conferencing during the sharing session.   Speaking at the sharing session, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the development of Hong Kong's financial market is based on its unique advantages under “one country, two systems” as well as the staunch support of the country.   He noted that through innovative policies and regimes, Hong Kong has been facilitating opening up and development of the Mainland's financial market.   “Mutual access between the financial markets of the Mainland and Hong Kong has been expanding and deepening continuously, thus strengthening Hong Kong's unique role as a bridge.”   Mr Chan also highlighted that the China Securities Regulatory Commission has implemented a series of measures in recent years that significantly raised the attractiveness and international influence of the Mainland's capital market, providing a decisive striving force for the country to build a high-level open economy.   He hoped that the sharing session would allow colleagues to think about how to make good use of Hong Kong's unique advantages from a higher perspective in order to contribute to the country and attain brilliant development for Hong Kong in the course of the country's financial development and opening up.   Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui chaired the sharing session today. He said the Mainland's capital market has become the second largest market in the world.   “The total market value of A shares exceeds RMB80 trillion, and there are nearly 4,500 listed companies. The scales of commodity futures and bond markets also rank among the top globally. The market is gradually opening up to a greater extent.”   Mr Hui stressed that Hong Kong will strengthen its role as an international financial centre and continue to facilitate the opening up of the country's financial services industry under the grand blueprints like the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.   About 150 people attended today's sharing session.   In addition to the bureau officers, senior personnel from the Monetary Authority, the Securities & Futures Commission, the Insurance Authority, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing and the Financial Services Development Council were also present.

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