Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked Tycoon

Good for Alibaba? SCMP Quashes Column on Xi-linked TycoonThe steady erosion of the journalistic independence of the South China Morning Post, once the region’s most influential English-language daily, was demonstrated last week when the paper’s editors pulled an article linking an investor in Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel Group to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s chief of staff. The article, by long-time Money Matters columnist…

A New Bank of Crooks and Criminals

A New Bank of Crooks and CriminalsThe Cyprus-based FBME bank, permanently blocked in April by a US court from access to the US banking system and thus basically shut down, has among its depositors arguably the biggest collection of financial outlaws the world has seen in decades. It is as if every illicit international operation on the globe from the Russian…

ADB Identifies the Keys to Economic Progress

ADB Identifies the Keys to Economic ProgressGet your investment priorities right. That is the message which emerges from a detailed study by the Asian Development Bank of the ways for countries to transform themselves from low to lower-middle, upper middle and finally high income. Those priorities change over time but none in itself is self-sufficient. The good news is that most…

Hong Kong Rewards the Property Oligarchs

Hong Kong Rewards the Property OligarchsHong Kong is supposed to have an open economy and be governed by rational economic policies. The reality has progressively become very different, not least in the past two years. This has seen swingeing taxes on many real estate transactions in a supposed effort to halt rising housing prices, now about the highest in the…

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong Kong

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong KongSlow economic growth, rising wages and prices, political instability, lower property values, confrontation between the United States and China over trade or security, and Mainland interference in the rule of law are just some of Hong Kong’s concerns going into 2017. “Headwinds remain from weak global growth, local property tightening measures, a more aggressive Fed…

Asia in 2016: Hong Kong

Asia in 2016: Hong KongJust as the aftershocks of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement demonstrations of 2014 had calmed down, the Year of the Monkey began in Hong Kong with a violent surprise. In February, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department cracked down on popular but unlicensed street food vendors in Kowloon’s gritty Mong Kok neighborhood, prompting an angry response…

China’s Taxman May Axe HK Economy

China’s Taxman May Axe HK EconomyHong Kong’s economy, already looking a little wobbly, could suffer a major blow if China is serious about cutting down on tax-dodging. With capital flowing out and debt problems mounting, Beijing has both economic and political reasons to clamp down on the use of the territory for re-invoicing of trade transactions. This not only is…

Can Food Trucks Replace Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dongs?

Can Food Trucks Replace Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dongs?With Hong Kong’s dai pai dongs – open-air food stalls – all but driven from the city by inheritance restrictions, the government is trying to replace them with food trucks, the brainchild of Financial Secretary John Tsang. Over the weekend, in an effort to jumpstart the phenomenon, the Food Truck Hong Kong Festival took to…

Hong Kong Now Wants Silence from Business Critics

Hong Kong Now Wants Silence from Business CriticsOn March 31, the Appeals Tribunal of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission fined Moody’s Investor Services HK$11 million for what the tribunal claimed were inaccuracies in a 2011 report entitled “Red Flags for Emerging-Market Companies: A Focus on China.” The assault on Moody’s is the latest indication that freedoms in Hong Kong are…

South Africans Want Arms Factory in Hong Kong

South Africans Want Arms Factory in Hong KongMystery surrounds a series of reports in defense magazines that the state-owned South African weapons manufacturer Denel is teaming up with a Hong Kong-based defense equipment manufacturer to establish a “military factory in Hong Kong as a springboard into the Asia-Pacific market.” According to a Defense News article on Feb. 14, Denel and its joint…
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