Hong Kong is an autonomous territory on the coast of southern China, comprising of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and the Outlying Islands.
Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded to China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and Defense affairs for the next 50 years.
As the world’s primer banking and finance hub, Hong Kong is ranked as the second most competitive city in the world (The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2015). This Asian city ranks third among leading financial centres in the world, only after London and New York. It scores high on several parameters such as business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure, human capital and reputational (2015, Global Financial Centres Index).
Hong Kong boasts one of the highest concentrations of banking institutions in the world, with 157 licensed banks, 24 restricted licence banks, 18 deposit-taking companies and 64 representative offices of overseas banks (end-December 2015 figures). The diversified financial sector broadly includes asset management, stock exchange, hedge funds, banking and insurance, accounting and risk and compliance. Thus creating a favourable environment for career development.
The most distinguishing feature of Hong Kong is its dense and tall skyline with a total of 1,223 skyscrapers. Some of the prominent ones are The International Commerce Centre (ICC) (1,588 ft) high, Two International Finance Centre (1,362 ft) high and the HSBC Headquarters Building.