Hong Kong is launching a new Nasdaq-like technology index. It's a sign that the Asian financial hub, caught in a battle for its future between East and West — is prepared to embrace its role as a gateway for China's tech industry to the world.


Hang Seng Indexes, the city's leading index compiler, on Monday announced the creation of a new benchmark that will track the 30 largest tech firms that trade in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng TECH Index is expected to debut next week.


The city has recently become increasingly attractive to Chinese companies that fear for their business prospects in the United States. Alibaba (BABA), NetEase (NTES) and JD.com (JD) — all of which trade in New York — have in recent months held secondary listings in Hong Kong. And Ant Group, the company behind the Chinese mobile payments business Alipay, announced Monday that it has chosen both Hong Kong and Shanghai for its initial public offering.


Some of China's biggest tech champions, including Alibaba, Tencent (TCEHY), Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi, will all be included on the new tech index. They will have a combined weighting of more than 33%.


"The tech sector has become increasingly important for the Hong Kong market," said Daniel Wong, director and head of research and analytics at HSI. "We hope the move will help attract more tech companies to list in Hong Kong."

恒指的董事长兼研究与分析主管黄永昌表示:“科技行业对香港市场变得越来越重要。” “我们希望此举有助于吸引更多的科技公司在香港上市。”

The rise of China's tech sector in Hong Kong likely won't end with the creation of this new index, either. Starting next month, more tech stocks might also start appearing on the Hang Seng Index (HSI), the city's main benchmark. The index compiler changed the rules in May to allow companies that have chosen the city for their secondary listing to appear on the index. Market support for the change was "overwhelming," Hang Seng Indexes said at the time.

在香港,中国科技行业的兴起可能不会随着恒生技术指数的建立而结束。下个月开始,更多的科技股也会开始出现在香港主要的恒生指数 (HSI)中。指数编制者在5月份更改了规则,以允许那些已选择城市为二级上市地点的公司也能出现在指数中。恒生指数当时表示,市场对这种变化的支持“是压倒性的”。

"Hong Kong's stock market is becoming more tech-heavy, and that's good for its status as an international financial center," said Kenny Tang, co-founder and chief executive for Hong Kong-based Royston Securities.

总部位于香港的Royston Securities联合创始人兼首席执行长Kenny Tang说:“香港的股票市场正变得越来越繁重,这有利于巩固它作为国际金融中心的地位。”

The 51-year-old Hang Seng Index is dominated by financial conglomerates and local property developers, including HSBC (HBCYF), CK Hutchison (CKHUY) and Sun Hung Kai Properties (SUHJF). Only three of its 50 components are tech firms.

拥有51年历史的恒生指数一直由当地的金融集团和房地产开发商主导,包括汇丰银行 (HBCYF),长江和记实业(CKHUY)和新鸿基地产 (SUHJF)。恒生指数中的50家公司,只有三家是科技公司。

But the influx of Chinese tech firms in recent months has dominated trading. Tencent, Alibaba and Meituan, for example, were the most actively traded stocks in the city last month, accounting for more than 20% of the total turnover. Only Tencent is currently listed on the city's benchmark index.


"The coming of Chinese tech companies to Hong Kong will fundamentally transform the city's stock market," Tang said.


Other analysts have pointed out that Hong Kong's role as a global business hub has been evolving as China takes greater control of the semi-autonomous region. Brock Silvers, chief investment officer for Adamas Asset Management, told CNN Business last week that the city could find "new relevance" as a center for Chinese finance.

其他分析人士指出,随着中国对半自治区的更大控制,香港作为全球商业中心的角色正在演变。阿达玛斯资产管理公司首席投资官布Brock Silvers上周对CNN商业表示,香港可能会被作为中国金融中心的“新关联”。

Investors apparently like the new direction. Alibaba's stock has jumped more than 35% since it first started trading in Hong Kong last November. JD.com and NetEase, meanwhile, are up 7% and 15%, respectively, since they listed last month.


More companies could consider Hong Kong listings. More than 30 US-listed Chinese companies meet requirements for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, including Pinduoduo and Baidu, according to data provider Refinitiv.