19 April 2018

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • The Liaison Office paid more than HK$120 million for 14 two-bedroom units at The Merton in Kennedy Town, or about HK$18,000 per square foot. Now those units cost more than HK$23,000 psf. Photo: EJ Insight/HKEJ

    Liaison Office sits on huge paper gain from Island West homes

    - Feb 23, 2018 12:51pm
    Beijing’s Liaison Office has been snapping up residential units in the city – chiefly in Sai Wan – and with property prices skyrocketing as a result of rising demand and acute land shortage, those units are gaining a...
  • Employees were enthusiastic to report for work on the first working day of the Lunar New Year, looking forward to the red packets from their bosses. Photo: Bloomberg

    Don’t fret if you only got HK$20 in your lai see

    - Feb 21, 2018 12:01pm
    Hong Kong workers were eager to report for work after the holiday, and that’s because they wanted to have a fresh start and greet the Lunar New Year with fervor and optimism. And also because they...
  • We hope that in this Year of the Dog, Hong Kong will step up the march towards a cashless society. Photo: HKEJ/Reuters

    Cashless city hopes in Year of the Dog

    - Feb 20, 2018 2:01pm
    Cash is king. That may still be true, but a king who is old and weary and about to yield his throne to the crown prince – electronic money. Who doesn’t like cash, especially cash in...
  • Retail prices of flowers at Victoria Park are low because the demand is down. Photo: Bloomberg

    Blossoms for Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year

    - Feb 14, 2018 1:36pm
    Trivia question: Which sells more flowers, Valentine’s Day or the Flower Market in Victoria Park? Tick, tick, tick… Time’s up. Check out the office reception and you’ll probably come up with the answer: none of the...
  • As the Chinese prepare to usher in the 'Year of the Dog', the stock markets are enveloped in a mood of uncertainty following a big global selloff earlier this month. Photo: Reuters

    Will ‘dog stocks’ see a bounce in the New Year?

    - Feb 13, 2018 6:13pm
    Every dog will have its day. Over one-tenth of what was known as the enigma network had changed its trading name in the last nine months in attempt to turn a new page, according to Apple...
  • The Empire Group has been chosen to redevelop The Mariners' Club in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Elsa Esthers / Wikimedia Commons / Mariners' Club

    Empire Group gives hope of rebirth to Mariners’ Club

    - Feb 12, 2018 11:19am
    The Mariners’ Club, one of the most undervalued assets in Hong Kong, is finally going to have its long-planned redevelopment. For the past 50 years, the blue building next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office on...
  • A still image from Steven Spielberg's movie The Post, starring Meryl Streep as newspaper heiress Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as executive editor Ben Bradlee. Photo: 20th Century Fox

    In search of a Katharine Graham in Hong Kong

    - Feb 9, 2018 5:25pm
    Oscar-nominated movie The Post came just in time to remind us that the role of the press is to “serve the governed, not the governors”. Watching the US political thriller, I couldn’t help but think how...
  • Rescue workers carry the body of an employee from the ruins of collapsed Marshall Hotel in Hualien on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    Love and prayers for the people of Hualien

    - Feb 8, 2018 12:07pm
    My heart goes out to the people of Hualien, a popular tourist destination on the eastern coast of Taiwan, which was hit by another earthquake just a week before the Lunar New Year holiday. Hualien, a...
  • The Sai Wan compound of Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong. Director Wang Zhimin announced plans Tuesday to throw open the doors to the public from time to time. Photo: HKEJ

    Why I can’t wait for the Open Day of Sai Wan

    - Feb 7, 2018 2:35pm
    It looks like a NASA edifice. It is also perceived as a top-secret building where Chinese officials plan covert operations to help Beijing tighten its grip over Hong Kong. As a symbol of power, it is...
  • The Hong Kong stock market suffered a drop that was only half as much as the Dow Jones, thanks to the strong – and mysterious – capital flow from across the border. Photo: AFP/HKEJ

    When the bull in Year of Rooster turns into bear in Year of Dog

    - Feb 6, 2018 2:46pm
    The first time it happened, it was scary. The second time, not so much. Now, are you scared or not? Half of the local papers splashed on how resilient the Hong Kong stock market was, suffering...
  • My friend was able to buy a studio-type unit at City Hub, a trendy apartment block in To Kwa Wan. Photo: HKEJ

    A six-week hunt for a mini flat

    - Feb 5, 2018 11:19am
    In Hong Kong, some people buy flats not because of expectations of price appreciation but as a hedge to reduce risks. They are no different from investors who sell their stocks with handsome profits but still...
  • Bright Smart Securities has set aside HK$40 million for bonuses to reward its 268 hard-working personnel. Photo: HKEJ

    ‘Tis the season for bonuses once more

    - Feb 1, 2018 11:49am
    It’s that time of year again when you ask yourself if you are in the right racket. Despite the chilly weather, there’s always something heartwarming about the approach of the Lunar New Year. And for some people...
  • Vincent Lo has informed Shui On Land that he has "from time to time been reviewing options with respect to his interest in the company," according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. Photo: Bloomberg

    Will Vincent Lo privatize Shui On Land?

    - Jan 31, 2018 5:42pm
    Is Vincent Lo, the man who helped create Shanghai’s famous Xintiandi shopping and entertainment district, really serious about privatizing his flagship firm, Shui On Land? In response to media speculation about possible privatization by major shareholder...
  • A chef prepares beef noodles in Lanzhou, the capital city of China's Gansu province. The food is tasty while also being very easy on the wallet. Photo: Xinhua

    A delicious but cheap bowl of Lanzhou noodle

    - Jan 30, 2018 11:24am
    I can’t recall the last time I had a bowl of tasty noodle priced less than HK$10, so I can only say it was a real delight when I got a chance to sample such fare...
  • With Hong Kong in the winter flu season, some medical clinics are facing renewed criticism over their service quality. Photo: RTHK

    Why I’m no fan of medical clinics during the flu season

    - Jan 29, 2018 12:40pm
    Nothing is worse than visiting a doctor during the flu season. Apart from being made to wait in a long queue, which will only further dampen your spirits, only few doctors know how to cure you...
  • The lucky winner in Thursday's Mark Six draw only bought a half ticket, which means half of the HK$133 million top prize will be added to the pool in the next week's lottery. Photo: HKEJ

    Dream on: Mega Mark Six jackpot is still on ice!

    - Jan 12, 2018 10:42am
    First, the bad news: we still need to get up to work, as always.  But the good news is that there will always be another chance. We are, of course, talking about the HK$100 million Mark...
  • Commercial landlords in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay area have reaped huge returns on their investments, thanks to a surge in property values and rental prices. Photo: Bloomberg

    Percival Street shop owner rings in 1,000-fold returns

    - Jan 11, 2018 11:44am
    You do not need to be a Mark Six winner to get thousand-fold returns. Perhaps you should have just bought a shop in the bustling Causeway Bay area at the right time. Take a look at...
  • A HK$110 million jackpot awaits the lucky Mark Six winner this Thursday. Photo: HKEJ, HKJC

    Mark Six ‘Five Ones’ jackpot awaits the lucky winner

    - Jan 10, 2018 12:31pm
    Since Mark Six was launched, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has never issued a nine-digit cheque to any winner of the lottery. That’s because the first division or top prize above HK$100 million has always been shared...
  • Hong Kong stocks extended their rally into the New Year, helping the benchmark index close above the 31,000 level on Tuesday. Photo: Bloomberg

    A strong winter rally above 31,000

    - Jan 9, 2018 6:08pm
    Everything – except the temperature – is up. The stock market is onto its biggest party, with the Hang Seng Index posting gains for the 11th straight session and notching fresh 10-year highs, taking the benchmark...
  • Esprit will be paying HK$1 million a month, a 60 percent discount to its previous rental of HK$2.5 million at MPM Plaza in Mong Kok. Photo: HKEJ/Reuters

    Esprit gets 60% rent discount in Mong Kok

    - Jan 8, 2018 1:11pm
    Much like the current season, retail sentiment in Hong Kong is getting warmer but traders are bracing for chilly weather ahead. Yes, mainlanders are coming back, but more people are shifting to online shopping. As a...

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