Geithner to meet top HK official as yuan talk mounts

HONG KONG (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will meet the top Hong Kong government official on Thursday before heading to Beijing for talks, with speculation swirling that the diplomacy presaged a change in China’s currency policy.

“On Thursday, Secretary Geithner will stop in Hong Kong on his return from India. There he will meet with Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang, and others, including Tung Chee Hwa and Joseph Yam,” the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong told Reuters.

Both Tung and Yam are advisers on mainland Chinese policy.

The meetings in Hong Kong will be closed to the press and there is no indication if they will meet more than once, the consulate said. It gave no further details regarding the meeting.

The yuan, which has been effectively pegged to the U.S. dollar since July 2008, will presumably be a topic of discussion between Geithner and Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Beijing.

Geithner would leave for Beijing later on Thursday, the U.S. consulate said.

China would like Hong Kong to be an international center for yuan-denominated trade and capital markets. Last June, HSBC (0005.HK: ) (HSBA.L: ) became the first foreign bank to sell yuan bonds, part of an effort by China to spread the influence of its currency.

Tung, the first Chief Executive in Hong Kong, is now vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Politics Consultative Conference, which advises China’s main policymaking body.

Yam, who retired as Hong Kong’s top central banker in 2009, is an honorary consultant of the People’s Bank of China.

Stock Market Investing

Geithner to meet top HK official as yuan talk mounts