Date
17 December 2017
Ronald Li shut down the stock market for four days during the 1987 global financial crisis. Li is shown in a 2013 picture (right). Photos: HKEJ
Ronald Li shut down the stock market for four days during the 1987 global financial crisis. Li is shown in a 2013 picture (right). Photos: HKEJ

Ronald Li succumbs to cancer, 86

Former Hong Kong stock exchange chief Ronald Li has died after battling stomach cancer. 

Li died at Queen Mary Hospital on Saturday, aged 86, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

In 1969, Li founded Far East Exchange Ltd., Hong Kong’s first market for Chinese traders, to counter the British-backed Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

He orchestrated Far East’s merger with three other stock exchanges in 1986 and became chairman of the unified bourse that would become Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

As stock exchange chairman, Li shut down the market for four days during the 1987 global financial crisis, a decision he would come to regret.

In 1990, he was convicted of taking bribes in return for approving listings and was sent to Stanley Prison where he served 30 months of a four-year sentence.

But industry veterans remember him for his contribution to the industry.

Chung Lee Securities Co. Ltd. chairman David Tung, a stock market pioneer, praised Li for unifying the Hong Kong market.

Former lawmaker Chim Pui-chung said Li’s influence in the financial and capital markets brought him wide recognition. 

Li came from a prominent family.

His brother, Simon Li, was the first Chinese judge to become chief justice.

Other high-profile relatives include nephews David Li, chairman of the Bank of East Asia, former education minister Arthur Li and ex-chief justice Andrew Li.

– Contact us at [email protected]

VW/AC/RA

Freelance journalist

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe