Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) is doubling the handling capacity of its central clearing and settlement system by the end of next month, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday, citing unnamed sources.
The expansion is to cater for mounting demand resulting from the launching of new investing channels for mainland Chinese, the report said.
The upgrade of the system, called CCASS/3, was originally planned for next year.
However, the bourse has decided to speed up the project in light of the expected robust growth in transaction volume after the launching of the mutual recognition of funds across the border next month, Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect later this year and higher quotas for Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the sources said.
Average daily transaction volume on the Hong Kong bourse topped HK$150 billion (US$19.4 billion) last month and reached HK$200 billion in April.
The number of transactions averaged 1.47 million per day from January to April, up 32.7 percent from the same period a year ago.
A spokesman for the bourse has verified the new timetable for the capacity expansion, although the record high volume of 3.29 million transactions on April 9 accounted for only 50 percent of existing capacity.
Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, the lawmaker representing the financial services constituency, said it is better to be ready for the boom in volume sooner than later, as average daily transaction volume could amount to HK$300 billion next year after the roll-out of the new investment channels.
Translation by Vey Wong
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