Date
20 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 Tuesday, Feb. 18:

TOP STORIES

Hong Kong Disneyland pledges HK$4.2 billion for third hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland is planning to invest HK$4.2 billion (US$541.58 million) to build its third hotel in the theme park, said managing director Andrew Kam. The company, however, doesn’t intend to raise its ticket prices any time soon, he said. The theme park has more than doubled its net profit to HK$242 million for the fiscal year through September last year, with attendance rising 10 percent to a record 7.4 million visitors during the period. Mainland tourists accounted for 47 percent of the traffic while local visitors and foreigners accounted for 33 percent and 20 percent respectively, Kam added.

Joseph Yam says time for China to adopt policy rate regime

The People’s Bank of China should put in place a policy rate regime, similar to the US federal funds rate, to make capital allocation in the banking system more efficient, said former chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Joseph Yam, who also serves as an advisor to the Chinese central bank. The existing reserve rate ratio regime for lenders in the mainland, meanwhile, should be abolished in phases, Yam said in a research paper. The city’s de facto central bank had said earlier that it hopes progress on the issue could be made by the end of the year.

Chong Hing Bank eyes expansion in mainland, international markets

Chong Hing Bank Ltd. (01111.HK) is tapping into the mainland for expansion, seeking to transform its local offices into branches and set up domestically-registered banking entities, new deputy chairman Margaret Leung said, adding that the lender is eyeing the international market for the long run. The bank, which was previously controlled by Hong Kong’s Liu family, is now backed by Yue Xiu Holdings Ltd., an entity controlled by the Guangzhou city government. It is likely to see some capital injection from the parent company, said chairman Zhang Zhaoxing {張招興}.

POLITICS

Officials condemn ‘anti-locust’ protests, warn of damage to tourism

Four senior government officials have spoken out against the “anti-locust” campaign mounted by a group of Hong Kong people against the massive influx of mainland visitors to the city. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said last night that the behavior of the netizens was “impolite, rude” and that it should be condemned. Three other ministers said the protestors disrupted public order, damaged mainland-Hong Kong relations and tourism. Security minister Lai Tung-kwok said the protestors would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

EDITORIAL

Weak GDP growth poses downturn risk for Japan

Japan announced yesterday that its gross domestic product grew merely 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The annualized GDP growth was only 0.1 percent, far below market expectation. The figure has given a clear signal that the vigor of the three-thronged economic stimulus policy spearheaded by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been weakening. Domestic demand looks set to weaken further when a consumption tax hike takes effect in April. The risk of a sharp economic downturn in the second quarter is growing.

COMMENTS

Kerry’s Beijing talks set to deal a blow to Abe militarist policy, Shi says

Judging from press reports, the just-ended two-day visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Beijing appears to have brought no major concrete results. The truth is profound changes in the strategic ties between China and the US in northeast Asia are underway, Stanford University researcher Shi Litai wrote. The detailed arrangements of Kerry’s meetings with state leaders including President Xi Jinping show a concerted effort to oppose the revival of militarism in Japan. The demise of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hardline policy is just a matter of time.

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