FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong-Singapore rivalry gets heated as regulators exchange barbs

SFC decried allegations that Beijing exercises clout over the regulator.

Bloomberg reports that the friendly rivalry between Hong Kong and Singapore got unusually heated as the two wrestle for financial dominance in the region.

“We don’t normally as an organisation dignify remarks made by competitors with a response, but I thought today I’d make an exception to that rule,” Ashley Alder, chief executive of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, said at a public forum in the city on Wednesday.

This comes as a Singapore Exchange Ltd. executive allegedly said that China’s government exercised some level of influence over the regulator.

Alder said Hong Kong has an “arms-length” relationship with policy makers in Beijing and any suggestion that the SFC is “under the influence” is “totally false.” He added, “I don’t think it was very adult.” 

The episode brings to light the heated rivalry between the two economies as they battle to lure profitable listings within their borders. Although Hong Kong outpaces Singapore in terms of IPOs and has the world’s largest stock market by market cap, the lion city gives Hong Kong a run for its money in offshore derivatives and foreign exchange trading volume.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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