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Wall Street titans to join summit in Hong Kong as COVID rules relaxed

HONG KONG — The heads of some of the world’s top banks and asset managers will attend an investment summit in Hong Kong on Nov. 2, the city’s financial regulator said on Thursday, signaling a re-opening of the financial hub after strict pandemic-linked curbs. 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, Citigroup Inc. head Jane Fraser, Morgan Stanley boss James Gorman and BlackRock Inc. President Rob Kapito will be among the speakers at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said. 

Hong Kong officials hope the most high-profile event since the start of the pandemic, which will lead into the Rugby Sevens, will be seen as a re-opening of the city after more than two years of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) border restrictions. 

Hong Kong’s unrelenting COVID curbs have battered its economy and standing as a financial center. 

The city scrapped mandatory hotel quarantine from Monday, but visitors to the city still face restrictions from attending some places like bars and restaurants for the first three days. 

Some banks had warned top bosses would not attend if any restrictions remained in place. 

HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue said on Thursday the final guidelines for those attending the summit were still being finalized. 

“For most of them this will only be a short visit and we need to make sure they can meet people, do business and build relationships in the kind of business-as-usual way they expect from a vibrant international city,” he said in a statement. 

“The latest relaxation of some of the control measures is helpful and provides a good basis for us to finalize an appropriate set of arrangements to facilitate the visit of our guests and make the Summit a success, which will underline Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.” 

Singapore, which has long been locked in fierce competition with Hong Kong to be considered Asia’s premier financial center, attracted dealmakers, fund managers and CEOs for a slew of high-profile conferences this month. — Reuters

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