|João Nuno Riquito
||Carlos Eduardo Coelho
In the last quarter of 2016, the Chinese premier
announced several new measures and policies focusing on the
diversification of Macau's very one-sided (gaming) economy. In
particular, some of those measures are expected to support the
development of Macau's finance industry ultimately aiming at
the transformation of its economic structure.
Among the measures announced, the following grasped the
financial players' attention: (i) support for the setting up of
Macau as a renminbi (RMB) clearing centre for Portuguese
speaking countries (PSCs); (ii) relocation of the China-PSCs $1
billion cooperation and development fund headquarters from
Beijing to Macau, and; (iii) support for the setting up of an
export credit insurance system.
The measures will most likely capitalise on the
opportunities provided by the RMB's growing
internationalisation and will make it easier for the fund to
attract potential interested partners in receiving funding.
They will also attract more mainland China banks to cooperate
with the PSCs and stimulate the creation of new financial
Several voices have been raised as to the need for Macau SAR
to update and adapt the existing legal framework of its
financial system (its most important laws, in particular, the
Financial System Act, date back to the last century) to prepare
for the implementation of such measures. Others, correctly
assuming the lack of local qualified manpower, warn about the
strict labour laws which tend to make it difficult for
companies (irrespective of their origin) to attract the
much-needed financial savvy of qualified foreign
Macau's financial sector regulator is aware of the urgent
need to modernise and has been pushing further for the
development of the local financial industries. Recently, it
announced amendments to the prevailing laws regarding financial
leasing companies and has been encouraging local banks to
provide wealth management services for overseas Chinese
Interesting times lie ahead in the Macau financial system if
local authorities roll up their sleeves and get down to work.
The major private players are keen for this to happen.
João Nuno Riquito and Carlos Eduardo