Civic Party Calls On the Government Again to Come Clean On the Objective of Acquisition of HKEX Shares
The explanation given by the Government today as regards its increased acquisition of shares in the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“the Exchange”) in September 2007 can best be described as flimsy. The explanation does not begin to explain the real purpose of the acquisition.
The Government tried to explain that the “objective of the Purchase” was “a strategic use of the Exchange Fund to enable the Government to contribute, over the longer term, to [the Exchange’s] development.” However:-
1. There is no evidence that the Exchange faces any immediate threat to its development;
2. Since the acquisition was through the open market, there is no immediate financial benefit to the Exchange;
3. The Government can always strategically deploy its Exchange Fund to achieve the same purpose without such acquisition.
The reliance by the Government on Section 3(1A) of the Exchange Fund Ordinance is also, on the face of it, misconceived. There is no evidence that “the stability and the integrity” of the Exchange was at any stage at risk.
In these circumstances, the Civic Party calls on the Government once again to publicly come clean on the real objective of the acquisition and to provide the people of Hong Kong a satisfactory explanation as to why public funds were being deployed in this haphazard way.