Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing-Hong Kong & Macau

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2021-03-04

Methods of Payment: The importance of trade finance to Hong Kong has resulted in a high level of bank efficiency in providing import payment services. Letters of credit, documentary collection, and international remittance services are widely available. The risk of financing receivables can be readily evaluated via locally available credit information. Prospective U.S. exporters frequently benefit from established U.S.-Hong Kong banking relationships when determining credit risk.

The preferred method of quoting is to use the “CIF” (Cost Insurance Freight) or “C and F” (Cost and Freight) destination terms of sale in Hong Kong dollars (HK$). The U.S. dollar and other freely convertible currencies may be accepted for bids and pro forma invoicing. Terms of payment depend on the relative negotiating strength of the buyers and sellers. U.S. suppliers should seek to obtain letters of credit or sight draft terms when dealing with buyers who are not well known to them. Asking for a letter of credit is a standard business practice, and your potential customer will not generally interpret this as a sign of mistrust.

Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) in Hong Kong such as A.M. Best Asia-Pacific Limited, CTRISKS Rating Limited, Fitch (Hong Kong) Limited, Moody’s Investors Service Hong Kong Limited, and Standard & Poor’s Hong Kong Limited, provide credit ratings on Hong Kong companies.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

Banking Systems

 Both Hong Kong and Macau have an open financial system, with no controls on currency movement. A description is contained in Investment Climate Statement – Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment.

Foreign Exchange Controls:

Hong Kong: The local currency, the Hong Kong Dollar (HK$), is freely convertible, and there are no foreign exchange controls.

Macau: The local currency is the Macau Pataca (MOP) which is also freely convertible and free of foreign exchange controls. The Hong Kong Dollar is also usually accepted in Macau as a means of payment for commerce and retail transactions.

US Banks & Local Correspondent Banks:

Licensed U.S. Commercial Banks in Hong Kong:

American Express Bank

Bank of America, N.A.

Bank of New York Mellon

Citibank NA

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

State Street Bank and Trust Company

Wells Fargo Bank NA

East West Bank

First Commercial Bank

Cathay Bank

Hong Kong’s five largest local banks are indicated in the Investment Climate Statement.