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Money Moves

Bright future for Hong Kong's treasury markets

by Martin Williams

Professional body promotes education, ethical standards and competition within the industry

Wilson Chan, executive board member
Treasury Markets Association
Photo: Edde Ngan

In order for Hong Kong to maintain its competitiveness in the region, there has to be a sound financial infrastructure, a constant supply of professional talent and a wide range of sophisticated financial products. In addition, its industry codes and standards must be in line with international best practices.

The Treasury Markets Association (TMA) is a professional body that promotes professionalism and competitiveness within Hong Kong's treasury markets to strengthen the city's position as a regional financial hub and gateway to the mainland economy.

"The ultimate goal of the Treasury Markets Association is to ensure Hong Kong's standing as the centre of the treasury markets in the Asia-Pacific region," says Wilson Chan, executive board member, TMA.

Lifelong learning

The association's specific mission is to develop appropriate industry codes and standards and to provide up-to-date market and industry-regulation information to enhance the professionalism of practitioners.

Since its launch in 2006, the association, with more than 80 institutional and around 2,000 individual members, has created many training opportunities for its members to strengthen their skills and industry knowledge.

TMA members must complete five hours of training annually to retain their membership. "Over the past year, we organised more than 50 training sessions and seminars, and our five-hour annual education requirement has inspired many financial institutions to take the initiative to organise ongoing study programmes to upgrade staff skills and knowledge," Mr Chan notes.

"While TMA initially offered various one-off training sessions, workshops and seminars, the association is increasing its portfolio of accreditation and certificate programmes to meet the diverse needs and requirements of the treasury industry," he adds.

One such accreditation programme is the Treasury Markets Certificate Programme, jointly offered by the Treasury Markets Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers. The certificate programme aims to familiarise treasury market practitioners with fundamental knowledge of various segments of the treasury market, as well as the mathematics and pricing models of different investment instruments.

More importantly, the curriculum includes modules on industry basics such as regulatory framework and professional ethics. Once students complete the programme, they are entitled to apply to become full members of TMA.

The association also offers other certificate programmes jointly with the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, the HKU School of Professional and Continued Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Open University of Hong Kong. Other tertiary education institutes are also being approached to promote closer cooperation between TMA and academia. As such, a range of new programmes is set to launch later this year. These will include topics like derivatives and structured products, treasury products marketing and financial management, risk management for financial institutions, and operations.

Not only do these programmes serve as basic requirements for TMA membership, but they also help develop the practical skills necessary for trading, investment valuation and risk management in the industry.

"In many ways, these certificate programmes are more practical than the average university subjects such as economics, finance and statistics," Mr Chan stresses. "Not only are they more applicable to practical situations, but they also place heavy emphasis on issues such as professional ethics and standards that are normally not taught at school."

Treasury Markets Association was incorporated in November 2005 under the auspices of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The association aims to promote good cooperation among market participants with a view to enhancing the professionalism of practitioners and the overall competitiveness of the treasury markets of Hong Kong.

Competitive edge

  • Sound financial infrastructure
  • Constant supply of professional talent
  • Sophisticated financial products
  • Industry codes and standards


Taken from Career Times 22 August 2008

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