Securities trading in Hong Kong has an exotic history with taipan-era reports dating back to the mid-19th century. The first formal market, the Association of Stockbrokers in Hong Kong, was not established until 1891. It was renamed the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1914.
A second exchange, the Hong Kong Stockbrokers' Association, was incorporated in 1921. The two exchanges merged to form the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1947 and re-established the stock market after the Second World War.
Rapid growth led to the establishment of three other exchanges
- Far East Exchange, 1969
- Kam Ngan Stock Exchange, 1971
- Kowloon Stock Exchange, 1972
Pressure to unify
Pressure to strengthen market regulation and to unify the four exchanges led to the incorporation of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) in 1980.
The four exchanges ceased business on 27 March 1986. The new exchange commenced trading through a computer-assisted system on 2 April 1986. By the time of the completion of the merger with HKFE in March 2000, the unified exchange had 570 participants.
In his 1999 Budget speech, Hong Kong's then financial secretary announced comprehensive market reform of the stock and futures markets. The reforms were designed to increase competitiveness and meet the challenges of an increasingly globalised market.
Single holding company
The SEHK and Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE) demutualised and merged with Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company (HKSCC) under a single holding company, HKEX, in March 2000.
In December 2012, HKEX acquired the London Metal Exchange, the world’s premier metal exchange since its own founding in 1877.
HKEX today confidently describes itself as a world-leading capital raising venue for Hong Kong, mainland Chinese and international issuers. It also acts as the frontline regulator of companies listed in Hong Kong.
Address: 12/F, One International Finance Centre, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2522 1122
Chief Executive Officer: Charles Li Xiaojia
Chairman: Chung Kong Chow
Best known indices
- Hang Seng Index
- HSI Finance, HSI Utilities
- HSI Properties
- HSI Commerce & Industry
- Hang Seng China Enterprises Index
- Hang Seng China-Affiliated Corporations Index
- S&P/HKEX LargeCap Index
- S&P/HKEX GEM Index
Opening hours: 9.30am - 12 noon; 12 noon - 1pm; 1pm - 4pm
Market capitalisation: (HK$m): 24,761,306.37
Number of companies listed: 1,973
Biggest companies listed as of end 2016: Tencent Holdings Ltd, China Mobile Ltd, China Construction Bank Corporation - H shares, HSBC Holdings plc, AIA Group Ltd.
Biggest share price increases in 2016: Armada Holdings (+1,167.05%), Gold-Fin Holding (+590.76), Yat Sing Holding (+395%), Hanbo Ent Holdings (+390.63%), U Banquet GP (+317.39).
Biggest share price falls in 2016: Qianhai Health (-94.82%), Tack Fiori (-92.30%), Tech Pro (-89.60%), Chinlink Intl (-89.04%), C Zenith Chem (-88.78%).
Serious fun fact: The Hong Kong Commodity Exchange (the predecessor of Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited) was established in 1976. The main products traded on it were cotton futures, sugar futures, soybean futures and gold futures.
1891 The Association of Stockbrokers in Hong Kong, the first formal stock exchange in Hong Kong, was formed.
1914 The name of the Association of Stockbrokers in Hong Kong was changed to The Hong Kong Stock Exchange.