While traces of its past can still be found in the fishing villages scattered in its outlying islands, Hong Kong has emerged from a post-war manufacturing base to a major financial and services centre featuring state-of-the-art infrastructure and highly efficient business services. Its stock market capitalisation is only second to Japan in Asia. The stock market of Hong Kong provides a wide variety of products ranging from ordinary shares to options, warrants, unit trusts and debt securities.
At the end of December 2013 Hong Kong had nearly 160 licensed banks, of which nearly 150 are foreign owned. Of the world's top 100 banks, 70 operate there.
Hong Kong enjoys a robust and stable financial regime, exemplifying the vitality and dynamism of an open and free economy that has the prowess of prospering in an ever-changing global political economy. In particular, the Hong Kong dollar, which is 100% backed by US dollars, has demonstrated remarkable stability since the introduction of the linked exchange rate system in the early 1980's.