Hong Kong is an international finance centre, playing host to some of the world’s largest companies. The Hang Seng Index is our equivalent of America’s Dow Jones or England’s FTSE 100; it tracks the performance of thirty of the largest companies in Hong Kong and can be thought of as a benchmark for overall market performance.
The most traded stocks in Hong Kong are primarily dominated by large multinational corporations that conduct their business globally. The companies all have at least one headquarters outside of the region, though China is the main country they operate from; this may be because many of them were founded before the formation of the modern-day state of Hong Kong.
Many of these businesses also specialise in trading: buying and selling products globally to benefit from different price points and provide more opportunities for cost reduction. HSBC Holdings PLC and China Mobile both hold assets worth over 1 trillion dollars each, showing how large some corporations can grow if given enough time and money to expand, yet companies like Petrochina, Samsung Electronics and Cargill are all multi-billion dollar corporations with over 24000 employees across 400 different locations.
Foreign companies dominate the most traded stocks in Hong Kong, but four of the top five trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
HSBC is the number one most traded company, with over 14 million shares being traded daily. Formed at the beginning of 1865, this British bank has become a global institution and today hold assets valued at almost $2 trillion.
The next most traded stock is China Mobile, another large multinational holding company that provides mobile phone services to over 683 million customers in countries including China, India, Indonesia and Thailand. This Chinese telecommunications corporation holds assets worth just under 1 trillion dollars.
Rounding off third place are two banking institutions that have experienced growth globally despite their near-collapse during the 2007/2008 financial crisis: Bank of China and ICBC.
In fourth place is CNOOC, a state-owned company that began as a national oil exploration company. In 2005 they expanded into the chemical field and now produce various chemicals, including ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, aniline and propylene oxide.
Following closely behind in fifth place is another large Chinese corporation: Petrochina. This business has over 83000 employees with revenue from around the world, though mainly from Asia, where it holds gas station chains all across North America and Europe.
Coming in at number six is yet another foreign business: the United States multinational Cargill, a global company that specialises in trading various commodities such as oilseeds and pulses. This food conglomerate has over 24000 employees working from 400 offices worldwide, with their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Samsung comes next on the list, a South Korean technology giant founded by Lee Byung-Chul back in 1938 during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Like many of South Korea’s largest companies, including Hyundai and LG Group, they had grown substantially since 1988 when they introduced several new products, including digital cameras and semiconductors.
Rounding off the list of the most traded stocks are two Hong Kong-based commodity corporations: Hang Seng Bank and Cheung Kong Holdings.
The most traded stocks have stayed relatively stable since then, suggesting that perhaps businesses are regaining confidence or that there is no better place for investment than Hong Kong. New investors are advised to use reputable online brokers before investing in stocks in Hong Kong. Learn how to use stock indices, which helps investors compare current stock price levels with past prices to calculate market performance. Saxo Bank offers demo accounts for beginner traders to practise their strategies before investing real money.