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Kai Tak site accident being probed

The Government expressed that it is highly concerned about an accident involving the collapse of a bamboo scaffold at a Kai Tak construction site today in which two workers were killed and three others injured.   A preliminarily investigation by the Buildings Department (BD) found that the scaffold, measuring about 15m by 8m, fell to the ground from the external wall on the 19th floor of a building under construction.   The BD said it will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the incident, including whether the scaffold, as temporary works, complied with the Buildings Ordinance and whether the registered contractor and any related persons have properly discharged their responsibilities.   It added that if anyone is found in contravention of the ordinance, it will take follow-up actions, including instigating prosecution and referring to the Contractors Disciplinary Board for disciplinary proceedings.   The Labour Department (LD) also launched an immed

Swap Connect to launch in 6 months

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today welcomed the introduction of Swap Connect, which enables mutual access arrangements between the interest rate swap markets of the Mainland and Hong Kong.   According to a joint announcement by the People’s Bank of China, the Securities & Futures Commission and the Monetary Authority, Swap Connect will be officially launched six months later, following the completion of preparatory work including finalising the relevant rules and system development, and obtaining regulatory approvals.   Swap Connect refers to an arrangement that enables investors to participate in the financial derivatives markets in the Mainland and Hong Kong through a connection between infrastructure institutions in both places.   It will start with northbound trading in the initial phase, allowing Hong Kong and overseas investors to participate in the Mainland’s interbank derivatives market through arrangements in trading, clearing, settlement etc between specified institutions in Hong Kong and the Mainland.   Southbound trading will be explored in due course, aiming to allow Mainland investors to participate in Hong Kong’s derivatives market through mutual access arrangements between specified institutions of the two places.   Chief Executive John Lee said Swap Connect marks another milestone in the integration of the Mainland and Hong Kong financial markets through introducing mutual access in the realm of financial derivatives products, enhancing the comprehensiveness of the product suit trading under the mutual market access schemes.   “I am most grateful to the Central People’s Government for announcing the initiative at the beginning of the new-term Government, which will bolster investors’ confidence in our country’s steadfast support to the development of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.   “The implementation of the initiative will further support Hong Kong in strengthening its functions as a global offshore renminbi business hub and a risk management centre in response to the targets laid down in the National 14th Five-Year Plan, while contributing to the high-quality opening up of the Mainland capital market.”   Financial Secretary Paul Chan said: “Swap Connect will help drive forward the development of derivatives markets in the Mainland and Hong Kong, offering more diverse risk management tool options to investors and enhancing the ecosystem for derivatives products of the two places.   “It will also be conducive to the development of Hong Kong’s offshore RMB market, thereby further consolidating Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre and a global offshore renminbi business hub.”   Monetary Authority Chief Executive Eddie Yue noted: “Swap Connect will create synergy with Bond Connect to facilitate global investors’ management of interest rate risks for their bond investment on the Mainland. The scheme will add to the depth and breadth of the opening-up of the Mainland financial markets. It will also create more opportunities for financial institutions in Hong Kong and strengthen Hong Kong's status as a risk management centre.”
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