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 Wednesday, April 23:


Leung says more cross-border finance opening-up policies imminent

Interview: Mutual recognition of funds and other cross-border opening-up policies will soon be put in place after the recently approved through-train for share trading by individuals across Shanghai and Hong Kong, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told HKEJ. Leung said the stock through-train scheme was in fact stipulated in the 12th five-year plan Beijing outlined in 2012. He added that the Hong Kong government is planning to expand the function of the Financial Services Development Council, its advisory body, to cover development in shipping finance.

Financial industry needs capacity expansion to avoid bottleneck, Leung warns

Interview: Hong Kong’s financial industry has to expand its capacity to seize the business opportunities that will soon be brought about by more market liberalizing policies in the mainland, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said, warning that if the industry fails to take the necessary steps it may face bottlenecks similar to what the city has seen in its tourism industry. The newly approved through-train for cross-border share trading in Hong Kong and Shanghai by individuals will likely make Hong Kong more appealing to multinational corporations as the location for their regional or global headquarters. Leung said.

Cha brothers seek liquidation approval on ATV

Payson Cha and Johnson Cha have lodged an application at the High Court in Hong Kong Tuesday seeking approval for liquidation of the debt-ridden Asia Television Ltd. The brothers said in a statement that the company has defaulted on payment of about HK$91.79 million (US$11.84 million) in interest, which has accrued from a batch of convertible bonds worth HK$200 million they invested in August 2008. The company has yet to fully repay the principal value of the bonds, the Cha brothers noted, adding that they may sue Wang Zheng {王征}, who guaranteed debt repayment by the television station.


DAB proposes high barrier for chief executive election

The pro-government flagship Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has proposed that contestants for the 2017 chief executive election need to be endorsed by more than half of a nominating committee before becoming formal candidates. The total number of candidates should be limited to between two and four. The nominating threshold is understood to be similar to the proposal by another pro-government group, Federation of Trade Unions, scheduled for announcement next week. DAB’s proposal was immediately rejected by the pan-democrats, saying it was a “political screening” mechanism.

Estrada to say offer apology for Manila bus hostage victims

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and representatives of Philippines President Benigno Aquino and the Hong Kong government are expected to sign an agreement tomorrow on an official apology from Manila for the families of victims killed in a bus hostage tragedy in 2010. The Manila group, which arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, will meet with chief executive Leung Chun-ying today. They are said to have carried HK$20 million as compensation for the families affected by the killings.


Obama eyes TPP progress in Asia ‘rebalancing’ trip

The major purpose of the visit of United States President Barack Obama to Japan, which starts today, is to put pressure on Tokyo to make concessions on the Trans-Pacific Pact. Japan’s refusal to soften its stance on the tariff for agricultural and pharmaceutical products has dragged the TPP talks. Obama will seek a “re-balance” between military security and economic and diplomatic interests in his talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Progress on the TPP talks will be the major criteria to measure the success of Obama’s Japan visit.


Housing policy overhaul key to resolving rich-poor gap, Richard Wong says

Hong Kong society has already been split into the “haves” and the “have-nots” with property prices having risen continually in the past 30 years. The rich-poor divide will only get worse, and there will be no self-correction unless there is major overhaul of the housing policy, Richard Wong of the University of Hong Kong wrote.

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