20 July 2018

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • There are many bargains in Hong Kong, if you know where to look. Photo: Bloomberg/Reuters

    Hong Kong is world’s most expensive city? Have another look

    - Jun 4, 2018 12:53pm
    In survey after survey, Hong Kong stands as one of the world’s most expensive cities, especially when you talk about home prices. No wonder a growing number of Hongkongers are thinking of emigrating to foreign shores...
  • Alibaba has joined Tencent in a list of the world's 10 most valuable brands. Photo: Bloomberg

    Chinese firms and their rising brand values

    - Jun 1, 2018 1:07pm
    When it comes to fastest-rising brands in the world, it boils down to online and wine. New-age retailers and Alibaba Group and China’s famous Moutai liquor maker were the brands that saw their value jump...
  • A file photo shows a housing construction project in Guangzhou. China's Greater Bay Area plan is prompting more Hong Kong people to consider investing in property across the border. Photo: Bloomberg

    My property hunt in the Big Bay Area

    - May 23, 2018 3:05pm
    The Big Bay Area is an investment concept as hot as the current weather in the southern part of China. The Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge and the cross-border high-speed rail — both due to open this year...
  • Jack Ma is spotted in a Causeway Bay convenience store using his Alipay to buy a copy of the South China Morning Post. Photo: Bloomberg/Internet

    Jack Ma uses his Alipay to buy copy of own newspaper

    - May 21, 2018 12:39pm
    Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma was spotted in a Causeway Bay convenience store buying a copy of the South China Morning Post, which he owns. One wonders why a photo of such a candid moment would go...
  • Haidilao is known not only for its excellent Four Seasons-type of hotpot but also for its legendary customer service. Photo: Bloomberg

    Haidilao is hot pick for hotpot and IPO

    - May 18, 2018 1:48pm
    The name is hot, and the IPO is probably hotter. Hotpot chain Sichuan Haidilao Catering has filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, seeking to raise up to US$700 million. Sichuan province, in southwestern...
  • Two of the world’s largest bitcoin plays plan to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as soon as this year with each seeking to raise as much as US$1 billion. Photo: Bloomberg

    Bankers eager to meet Chinese bitcoin miners

    - May 17, 2018 5:14pm
    Investment bankers still have a vivid recollection of that time, about a decade ago, when mainland mining bosses descended on Hong Kong to list their companies on the local stock exchange. The executives looked ill at ease...
  • Ricky Wong's HKTVmall continues to bleed cash but the company believes a turnaround is not too far away. Photo: Bloomberg

    HKTV burns a Mercedes every day

    - May 16, 2018 12:28pm
    What do you call a company that burns cash at a rate that would be equivalent to pushing a Mercedes Benz vehicle into the sea every day? Some may say it is “new economy” company with...
  • When it comes to toilet rolls, price doesn't necessarily equate with quality. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Battle of the toilet rolls: best brands for the bottom

    - May 15, 2018 5:02pm
    The more expensive the toilet roll, the better the quality?  Not necessarily, says the Consumer Council, which recently tested several popular brands of toilet rolls in the local market. Based on its findings, Tempo, the premium...
  • Malaysia's Dr. Mahathir Mohamad returns to power at age 92. Photo: Reuters

    Time for old, wise men to rule the world again?

    - May 14, 2018 1:26pm
    It is said that only Television Broadcasts’ Cantonese drama could have produced a more thrilling episode: “The new PM is coming in. The old PM is going out. “The future PM is coming out of jail soon....
  • Service quality varies among banks in Hong Kong, and critics say there is no uniformity even among branches or different divisions within the same institution. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why do I always hear bank customer complaints?

    - May 11, 2018 2:04pm
    Being a columnist who writes mostly on financial topics, I often find myself listening to tales from friends and acquaintances about their bad experiences with financial institutions in the city. While there is hardly any entity...
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels reported strong occupancy rates and room revenues for the first quarter, but investors are more interested about the share price and dividend. Photo: Bloomberg

    How long is long term for Peninsula shareholders?

    - May 10, 2018 11:59am
    How long is long-term? That was the question raised by some loyal shareholders of Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels at the group’s annual general meeting on Wednesday. No, they’re not unhappy about the service at The...
  • Ngai Wai Court, an estate being developed in Mui Wo under the government's Home Ownership Scheme, will see buyers shell out about HK$3.7 per square foot in monthly management fee. Image: HK Govt

    Why buyers at a Mui Wo housing project have reason to complain

    - May 9, 2018 12:23pm
    Taking a look at two subsidized housing projects in Mui Wo, one can’t escape the feeling that there’s something fishy going on.  They seemed affordable initially, but, as they say, the devil is in the details....
  • Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett mingles with shareholders during the company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

    Why Buffett would want to invest in China this year

    - May 7, 2018 12:14pm
    I like listening to Warren Buffett. Who doesn’t? Last year, a guy pledged US$2.7 million to a charity just to meet with the Sage of Omaha and listen to his words of wisdom over lunch. I...
  • Roma's Edin Dzeko (left) in action with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the UEFA Champions League semi-final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    You will never win alone, Liverpool

    - May 4, 2018 1:57pm
    It’s become a joke among local football fans that unless you want a life of regret and misery you should never bet on Liverpool. True, the popular English football club became champions only once in three...
  • Taxi passengers in Hong Kong are getting discounts and rebates as ride-hailing services firms and payment systems providers promote digital payments. Photo: Bloomberg

    More taxi rebates, more happy customers

    - May 2, 2018 3:24pm
    The digital payments drive in the taxi industry is proving to be quite a boon for Hongkongers, with passengers offered various discounts and rebates to encourage them to go cashless.  The latest to join the incentives...
  • People still want to know the latest news, but many no longer subscribe to newspapers. Photo: Bloomberg

    They don’t deliver newspapers anymore

    - Apr 30, 2018 11:35am
    Newspapers are facing an existential crisis. It’s not about content; it’s about how they get to the reader’s doorstep. Gone are the days when the delivery man would drop a bottle of milk, along with a...
  • Ride-hailing services firm Didi Chuxing has launched a campaign to encourage digital payments among Hong Kong customers. Representative image: Bloomberg

    Happy Fridays for Didi drivers and customers

    - Apr 23, 2018 12:20pm
    There is no free lunch, but there are free rides. Last Friday I took a free taxi ride, thanks to Didi Chuxing, which offered a HK$100 fare discount under a promotional campaign for a newly-launched cashless...
  • Hong Kong's property boom has seen parking spaces command ever higher premiums. Photo: Bloomberg

    Would you pay HK$5 million for a parking space?

    - Apr 19, 2018 5:45pm
    A popular saying goes, “An inch of land is worth a feet of gold”. In Hong Kong, where property prices are among the loftiest in the world, this means that it is not only the actual...
  • Li Ka-shing paid HK$610 million for 9.21 million CK Asset Holdings shares at between HK$60 and HK$70 each,  Photo: Bloomberg

    Li Ka-shing keeps buying his company’s shares

    - Apr 17, 2018 11:22am
    Three weeks after he announced his retirement, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing still has his money where his mouth is. The city’s richest man spent HK$610 million to snap up 9.21 million CK Asset Holdings shares at between HK$60...
  • Nissin Foods, the creator of Cup Noodles, depends on China and Hong Kong for a bulk of its instant noddle sales overseas.  Photo: Bloomberg

    How Nissin sparked an instant food culture

    - Apr 16, 2018 1:08pm
    This year marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the world’s first instant noodles by the founder of what has now become one of Japan’s biggest food firms: Nissin Foods. Operating from a small shack...

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