ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong amongst 10 hotspots that will benefit from Belt & Road initiative

It will be a financing hub for B&R projects.

BMI Research has selected 10 hotspots which they believe will see the greatest activity and focus surrounding China's Belt & Road initiative.

The countries have been selected based on level of and openness to Chinese investment and the strategic important of those countries based on geography or politics. 

The majority of these countries are in Asia but we also highlight several key markets in Europe and the Middle East and Africa.

Here's more from BMI Research:

China's Belt & Road (B&R) initiative covers at least 65 countries officially and several more unofficially through cooperation agreements and investment pledges.

Of those, we have highlighted 10 markets which we expect will see the greatest investment activity and focus. In selecting these 'hotspot' markets we have considered two elements: The absolute value of China-backed projects or the relative value of China-backed projects compared to the total project value, and; The strategic location of a given market in the context of China's aim of cementing geopolitical ties and facilitating trade.

Given its existing role as a major port and as the host for many outward-looking Chinese contractors and investors, Hong Kong will occupy a unique role as a financing and professional services hub for B&R projects.

Six of the 10 largest construction and infrastructure companies in China are listed in Hong Kong with a combined market cap of HKD983bn (USD126bn). Major infrastructure operators including Cheung Kong Infrastructure, Road King and China Everbright International are also listed in Hong Kong.

Although we note that the majority of China-backed projects in B&R countries are supported through loans extended by Chinese development banks, we believe there will eventually be projects that seek private funding as part of public-private partnership initiatives and at that point, Hong Kong will be among the first places for capital to be found.

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