On 4 May 2023, the Faculty of Finance of the City University of Macau held the Finance Seminar Series  at the Ho Yin Convention Centre. Mr. Stanley Au, Chairman of Delta Asia Financial Group, and the Founder and Chairman of The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Macao and Delta Asia SME Training Institute, and Dr. Paris Yeung, Chief Executive Officer of Banco Delta Asia S.A., were invited to deliver “The prospects and potentials of Macau being transformed into a supplementary financial centre in the Greater Bay Area? How the Macau SMEs can survive and find their niche markets and blue ocean amid the current geopolitical, social, and economic crisis?” and “Opportunities and Challenges for Global, Hong Kong and Macau”, respectively. Guests attending this seminar include Ms. May Lok of Banco Delta Asia S.A.; Dean Adrian Cheung and Associate Dean Eva Khong, City University of Macau.
Firstly, Ms. May Lok introduced Chairman Au. He was selected by the Financial Times and the German Capital Magazine as the most successful financier in Hong Kong and the largest gold merchant in Asia. He was invited by the Hong Kong Government to attend the Government's senior civil service training programme. He served as a senior member of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and was appointed as a board member of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In the late 1990s, he attended and delivered speeches at the annual meetings of the World Bank with the Economic and Financial Secretary of Macau several times, and was awarded the Order of the Colonial Empire. Chairman Au has made selfless dedication to the country and the nation, especially the financial system of Macau. During the period from 2005 to 2020, Banco Delta Asia (BDA) Macau faced 15 years of sanctions from the US Treasury Department. Due to the persistence of Chairman Au, it was finally completely lifted on August 10, 2020. Chairman Au is dedicated to serving Macau's SMEs and stepping into the international arena. He gives a full play to the role of a bridge between the industry and the government in the important activities of SMEs. He often visits the Liaison Office of the Central People Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hong Kong and Macau Office of The State Council, the Ministry of Commerce, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, etc., and participates in international forums and visits overseas. Under the leadership of the Chairman, BDA has focused on the development of commercial banking business related to small and medium enterprises, wealth management, venture capital and family office business, comprehensive upgrading of computer systems, digital automated banking services, and recruitment of elites. Finally, Ms. Luk mentioned that the Chairman's ambition is to promote the progress and prosperity of Macau, and he always hopes that everyone would support enterprises wholly owned by Macau people, so that BDA would continue to shine for Macau.
Then, Chairman Au gave a speech on Macau's geopolitics, society and economy. He first introduced the four pillars of the financial centre, namely the foreign exchange market, the stock market, the commodity market and the bond market. He also introduced the world's top 10 stock exchanges, the world's major commodity exchanges and the world's top 100 financial centres. He noted that there are seven criteria to measure the ranking of global financial centers, including business environment, size and quantity of financial activities, size of capital markets, availability of human capital, start-up base, reputation and scale of international wealth management. If Macau aims to become a complementary financial centre, Chairman Au suggested that the commercial code must be reformed to bring it into line with the common law; Improve the talent level of the banking industry; Upgrade Macau's software by opening its legal, accounting and construction sectors to the outside world; Enhance Macau's reputation by strengthening anti-money laundering regulations; Introduce a strict set of rules for banking and grey money market controls; Universities provide the right training; The government plays an active role in the transition. In light of the current geopolitical, social and economic crisis, he proposes that the Macau Government help SMEs understand the concept of AI, provide adequate financial support to new enterprises with technical content that meets the standard or above, provide funding to non-governmental organizations, assist in training SMEs and provide them with advisory services, promote the business and investment environment in Macao, aand provide subsidies for equipment modernization for small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs must learn and accept the new normal after the pandemic, adopt the concept of AI, improve management skills, treat employees as the company's most valuable assets, invest money and effort in brands, read industry reference books and materials, strive to develop services, seek opportunities in emerging markets, and look further into the blue ocean. Referring to Ukraine as a blue ocean with potential for Macau's development, Chairman Au carefully analyzed the basis and introduced the geographical and natural resources possessed by Ukraine, hoping that SMEs in Macau would seize the opportunity. As a son of Macau and a leader of SMEs in Macau, Chairman Au hopes to lead SMEs in Macau on the journey to Ukraine when the time is right.
Lastly, Dr Yeung delivered a speech on " Opportunities and Challenges for Global, Hong Kong and Macau in 2023". He pointed out that the geopolitical situation in 2023 will be dominated by the increasing tensions between China and the United States; the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, trade, technology, finance and bilateral cooperation highlights the different interface of the Sino-US conflict, and geopolitical risks have an impact on the stock market and the global economic outlook. He also touched on investment choices in volatile markets and the Hong Kong economy after the pandemic. Dr. Yeung predicted that the future of globalization will have four different scenarios: reconnection, virtual integration, digital fragmentation, and disintegration of the world. Reconnection means that the world will see more free trade and international connectivity; virtual integration means that people can be more closely connected through the Internet and virtual platforms; digital fragmentation refers to the potential fragmentation of global information, which may also lead to the widening of the digital wealth gap; and the disintegration of the world may lead to the widening of political, economic and cultural differences between countries. Responses to these possibilities include diversification, mutual support and divestment. Dr. Yeung then used the example of Silicon Valley Bank to explain the unexpected impact of high-interest rates to curb inflation. He also shared the development opportunities of Macau's financial and economic sectors, including fintech, green finance and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. He also explained the risks and challenges in the future situation and provided advice and guidance for the development of Hong Kong and Macau.
At the end of the sharing session, students took this valuable opportunity to actively pose questions related to Macau's economy and the international market, Chairman Au and Dr. Yeung answered in detail. The Faculty thanked Chairman Au and Dr. Yeung for their excellent analysis and experience sharing the opportunities and challenges of the surrounding politics, economy, finance, commerce and SMEs from a macro perspective on Macau, the Greater Bay Area and global geopolitics, and presented each student with an informative journal and souvenir. In the Seminar, students paid attention to more challenges and future opportunities facing Macau’s financial economy, and gained a lot through the financial seminar series. The students also expressed their expectations for the sharing of the next finance seminar.