Date
22 October 2017

HKEJ Today: Highlights

Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Monday, Jan. 6:

TOP STORIES

Shuanghui International plans dual tranche listing

Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. is said to be planning a Hong Kong listing under the “dual tranche, dual counter” model using different trading currencies, a move that is likely to set a precedent in the city, sources said. The country’s largest pork producer, which is expected to submit its application within this month to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK), hopes to raise US$4-6 billion. BOC International Holdings Ltd., CITIC Securities Co. Ltd. (06030.HK), The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, along with two other investment banks, have been hired arrange the deal.

HK govt kicks off scripless securities legislative drive

The Hong Kong government is rolling out the legislation process for a scripless securities regime in the city, and is likely to adopt the new laws as soon as 2016 to align with current international practice. Officials from the Securities and Futures Commission and relevant authorities are due to present the proposal to lawmakers in a committee meeting in the Legislative Council on Monday, and aims to submit a draft bill to the legislature by April. The new requirements, which can enhance investor interest and expand shareholder base, are expected to be phased in starting with Hong Kong registered companies.

ECONOMY and BUSINESS

China needs comprehensive reforms, researcher says 

Interview: The third stage of the country’s reform and opening-up has to be well-rounded, covering the economy, society, politics, culture and environment, said Chang Xiuze {常修澤}, a researcher with the National Center for Economic Research at Tsinghua University. Chang said the Communist Party central committee’s third plenum held in November last year has made it possible for such an all-round reform, judging from the top leadership’s decisions at the meeting, especially its pledge to eliminate monopolistic practices.

China may allow orderly default of certain local govt debts, economist says

Interview: The central government may allow an orderly default of certain local government debts later this year to send a signal to the market, said Yao Wei {姚煒}, a Hong Kong-based China economist at Societe Generale S.A. The 67 percent growth rate in the size of local government debts over two and a half years is far too high, although the total amount of about 18 trillion yuan (US$2.97 trillion) came in as expected, Yao said. The debt problem may hinder the pace of infrastructure construction in the country, dragging economic growth that is likely to stand below 7 percent, she added.

New World Development aims to sell 2,692 flats in 2014

Interview: New World Development Co. Ltd. (00017.HK) aims to sell 2,692 units in five new residential projects in Hong Kong this year, said director of sales and marketing Melvin Yeo. The developer made record sales of HK$14.4 billion (US$1.86 billion) from the sale of 3,335 homes in nine projects it launched last year. Meanwhile, Yeo said he expects the property market in the city to remain stable amid the low interest rate environment, which is likely to stay despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to start tapering its bond buying program this month.

POLITICS

Political commentators mull new group to defend free speech

A group of Hong Kong political commentators with no political affiliations plans to set up an association to defend freedom of expression amid fears there are efforts to curb free speech. About 20 commentators have signed up to join the group. They include former civil service minister Joseph Wong and veteran China watcher Ching Cheong. In addition to providing a forum for their own discussions, the new group aims to present a collective voice when freedom of speech is threatened.

Occupy Central views to be submitted to government

Results of a civil referendum conducted on New Year’s Day and views expressed at two “Deliberation Days” of the Occupy Central Movement will be submitted to the government, an organizer Chan Kin-man said. Chan made the remarks after constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam said the government would incorporate the views gathered by the Occupy Central activists if they received them. But Tam also urged the activists to explain how the electoral proposals made by the movement could be implemented, apparently referring to the idea of civil nomination.

EDITORIAL

Developed economies tipped to drive growth as risks grow in emerging economies

Developed economies led by the United States are expected to emerge as the major drivers of the world economy in 2014, replacing the new emerging economies. With the expansion of the developed economies strengthening, the structural weaknesses of emerging economies will become more apparent. The risk of their over-reliance on foreign capital for domestic consumption will be further exposed. It will also become the source of instability in their domestic finance and economy, posing risk to global economy and finance in 2014.

COMMENTS

Anti-graft drive shifts focus to officials of law and order organs

The crackdown against corruption involving officials in the Communist Party of China’s political and legal organs is one of the three new trends in the country’s anti-graft movement in the past 13 months, Beijing-based commentator Ren Huiwen wrote, citing the probe into the wrongdoings of former deputy public security minister Li Dongsheng {李東生}. The investigation of alleged acceptance of bribes by deputies of the Hengyang municipal people’s congress marked new attempts to probe collective graft cases. The third trend saw cadres at grass-roots levels becoming new targets of the intensified anti-graft campaign, Ren said.

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