Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Monday, Nov. 18:
Financial Services Development Council to unveil first batch of policy suggestions
The Financial Services Development Council is said to unveil the first batch of six special reports on key areas that have to be focused upon for development of the financial market in Hong Kong, sources told HKEJ. The areas include asset management and the renminbi market. The reports also suggest that the city should keep its financial regulatory framework up to date. Observers expect Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to incorporate the suggestions in the policy address that he will deliver in January.
HKEx sets group strategy division for better implementation of plans
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) has recently established a Group Strategy division directly under chief executive Charles Li and led by James Fok, current chief of staff, to act as an internal advisor on corporate strategies. Fok, who was an investment banker and had worked for Credit Suisse Group A.G. and Citigroup Inc., has played a critical role in the bourse operator’s acquisition of the London Metal Exchange last year. Analysts see the move as a means for the bourse to better implement its strategic plans. However, they said the key lies in whether those strategies can be put into practice and how well they are executed.
ECONOMY and BUSINESS
Hengan International to launch more baby products
Interview: The loosening of the one-child policy in mainland China is likely to drive a baby boom that will directly benefit the related consumption sectors, said Hui Lin-chit, chief executive of Hengan International Group Co. Ltd. (01044.HK). The personal-care product maker will introduce more disposable baby diaper products to the market, in a bid to expand its market share and boost business volume, Hui said. Hui sees more fierce competition in the tissue paper market, which contributes the most to the company’s revenue, amid oversupply and price wars among rivals.
Giordano to boost Middle East sales contribution to 25 percent
Interview: Giordano International Ltd. (00709.HK) expects the Middle East to contribute about a quarter of the group’s revenue in five years from 10 percent currently as the tourism industries in Dubai and Saudi Arabia are about to thrive, said managing director Ishwar Chugani. The company has started direct operation in the Middle East as it has been in that market for over two decades. The group is planning to open 45 more stores in the Middle East by 2015.
Boyaa eyes mobile game market for growth
Interview: Boyaa Interactive International Ltd. (00434.HK) is planning to invest more on the development of mobile games, tapping into the growth potential, said chairman Zhang Wei . Market wise, the company is eyeing nations outside the Greater China region, such as Indonesia and Vietnam, said Zhang, adding that it will keep an open door to other large information technology firms for collaboration. The company may also seek acquisitions of other game makers and enterprises running third party online payment platforms.
Tsang makes veiled rebuttal of Leung’s remarks on popularity
In a veiled rebuttal of remarks of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Legislative Council President Tsang Yok-sing said people have higher expectation towards the government than the lawmakers. Under the present executive-led system, people believe the government is responsible for policy-making and execution, Tsang said. They would blame the government if they are not happy with the policies, he said. When asked to resign in view of his high unpopularity, Leung said at a public forum on Saturday that he is not asking legislators to resign even though their popularity was not high.
Occupy Central leader casts doubts on political reform consultation after TV license saga
A core organizer of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, Chan Kin-man, has threatened to boycott the government’s upcoming consultation on political reform if the administration fails to explain further its decision not to grant a free-to-air television license to Hong Kong Television Network. Chan said the government’s refusal to explain showed its ignorance of procedure propriety. There is no point for them to join the government’s game if the administration does not play by the rules, he said, adding that they have already set their own rules in consulting the public on electoral arrangements.
Two-child policy must be implemented soon
The Chinese Communist Party has set a clear direction of a gradual change towards a two-child policy following the move to allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child. The excessive control over birth under the compulsory planned single-child policy in the past three decades has resulted in quickening the population ageing and led to a huge social and economic price. Faced with shrinking population growth, the new policy must be implemented as soon as possible.
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