21 February 2020

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 Friday, April 18:


China Resources chief Song Lin faces graft probe

The chairman of the state-owned China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd. Song Lin {宋林} is under investigation for corruption charges, according to the Commission for Discipline Inspection under the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee in a statement on Thursday. It came two days after Wang Wenzhi, a reporter of the Economic Information Daily newspaper, run by the official Xinhua News Agency, submitted further evidence against Song’s wrongdoings on Tuesday. China Resources said in a statement that the group will strive to ensure its normal operation.

China tightens control over third party payment business

The People’s Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission have issued a joint circular to lenders in a move to restrict their collaboration with third party payment providers, mainland media reported. Under the circular, lenders are required to verify the identity of users with payment providers and evaluate the levels of risk acceptance of users. There are 15 other requirements. Lenders have to review and make necessary changes to their policies to align with the requirements by the end of June. Market observers expect the development of third party payment will be further limited in the future.

China seen to ease property curbs soon to support economy

China is likely to loosen its curbs over the property market in a bid to boost the economy, analysts said. Possible measures include reducing the restrictions over purchase of flats, in particular in small- and medium-size cities. The general price level of new apartments has dropped 5.2 percent from a year ago in the first quarter. Some observers said the property market has now posed the biggest risk to the country’s economic growth. Meanwhile, the Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that the central bank will reduce lenders’ reserve requirement ratio in the first quarter next year to boost the economy.


June 4 history museum targets at mainland visitors, Lee says

Interview: The June 4 history museum to be officially launched at a commercial flat in Hong Kong on Saturday will target mainland visitors to help bring the history of the crackdown of the 1989 pro-democracy movement to the mainland, said an organizer Lee Cheuk-yan. Lee, who heads the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Movement in China, said they will also put the history of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in a USB removable disk, which could be brought back to the mainland without easily being found and confiscated by mainland customs officers.

Legco chief throws out 957 amendments by ‘Long Hair’ to budget

Legislative Council President Tsang Yok-sing has rejected 957 of the 1,507 amendments to the government’s 2014-2015 Budget put forward by League of Social Democrat lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung. Tsang described some amendments as “frivolous or meaningless” and insisted his decision was based on the Basic Law and the legislature’s rules. He denied it was made at the request of the government or some lawmakers. Leung said Tsang has departed from his approach last year and questioned whether he was under political pressure.


Yellen remarks on interest rate dispel fears of imminent hike

US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen has learned a lesson from her “gaffe” in her debut speech and made it clear in a speech on Wednesday, her second after taking office, the economic conditions for raising interest rate. She said the Fed would only consider a interest rate hike after the gap between the country’s economic condition and the Fed’s inflation and employment goals is drastically narrowed. It is a clear message to the market interest rate hike will not come any time soon. It will help remove market jitters and ensure the economic recovery go steadily.

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