24 May 2019
Following a huge rally in its share price, Tencent was among the names that cropped up most in Hong Kong financial media last year. Photo: Reuters
Following a huge rally in its share price, Tencent was among the names that cropped up most in Hong Kong financial media last year. Photo: Reuters

What buzzwords of HKEJ in 2017 tell us

The Hong Kong Economic Journal has used its database to look for words that appeared most frequently last year. The results reveal some interesting facts.

In the business/financial news section, after filtering out words like Hong Kong dollar or US dollar, Tencent, LeTv, SFC, entrepreneurship and IPO happened to show up most often in 2017.

Tech giant Tencent Holdings (00700.HK) more than doubled its share price during the year, with the market value of the company hitting almost HK$4 trillion. Thus it’s no surprise regarding the extensive news and commentary coverage of the firm.

Interesting, LeEco appeared on the list too, but for the wrong reason. The company’s founder Jia Yueting, who spent a fortune trying to realize his high-tech dream, fled to US and was ordered to return to China to address unpaid debt.

Meanwhile, it’s been a busy year for Hong Kong’s securities watchdog SFC. It has been involved in a listings overhaul to introduce companies with dual class structure. Also, the regulatory body has stepped up a crackdown on shell companies.

Startup was a hot issue, as emergence of numerous unicorns (yet to be listed startups with market value over US$1 billion) shows the promising future of entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, subscribing for IPOs turned out to be a quick way to make a small fortune, as reflected in the performances of new listings China Literature (00772.HK), ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance (06060.HK) and Razer (01337.HK).

In the property news section, new projects, foreclosures and car parks were some of the most popular words.

New home sales hit a record high of HK$230 billion last year, spurring more investors to seek alternative property investment, such as parking spaces.

Parking lot investment is far more accessible in terms of the capital involved, and less vulnerable to government curb measures.

Despite the strong property market, home foreclosures in Hong Kong have been rising due to excessive leverage of some buyers, and those who have mortgage loans should get ready for higher interest rates this year.

In the local news section, taxi, public housing and hospital authority were the hot topics.

Services like Uber have been a rather controversial topic. Even the Consumer Council is urging the government to legalize such e-hailing services.

Public housing often grabbed headlines too, because it was like winning a lottery for those who finally got allocated a unit. At the same time, the queue is getting ever longer, with the average waiting time hitting 4.6 years.

Separately, hospital authority came under attack from time to time following a series of medical blunders at local hospitals. We can only hope it will do better this year.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 29

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist

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