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270 COVID-19 cases recorded

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 270 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 116 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 154 were identified via rapid antigen tests.   Among the new cases, 31 are imported while the rest are locally infected.   Since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, 1,199,227 people have contracted the virus. One more patient passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in the fifth wave to 9,163.   Moreover, the Hospital Authority announced that a staff member of Haven of Hope Hospital’s catering department tested positive through a rapid antigen test on Thursday. Contact tracing revealed that four more employees from the same department who had dined or stayed in the same accommodation as the patient had also caught COVID-19. These four staff and seven other staff who have been identified as close contacts will be quarantined.   As a precautionary measure, the hospital’s catering department has temporarily suspended o

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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