22 April 2019

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • A Prada boutique in Central. Some Prada products are 35 percent more expensive in mainland China than in Europe. Photo: Bloomberg

    Confused by the market? Play like a Li Ka-shing

    - Apr 15, 2016 6:01pm
    A number of global brands including Prada (01919.HK) and mass-market brands such as Uniqlo are cutting prices. Prada said last week that its net profit slumped 26.5 percent to 330 million euros (US$371.5 milllion) in the...
  • Online shopping is growing rapidly in China. Photo: Xinhua

    Are signs of an uptick in China’s economy real?

    - Apr 14, 2016 5:32pm
    China’s economic figures have surprised the market on the upside, and many economists believe the economy is bottoming out after moderating markedly since 2013. Economies experience boom-bust cycles, and there is usually a lot of pain...
  • Tesla received nearly 330,000 orders within a week for its new Model 3. Photo: Slash Gear

    Tesla uses ‘crowdfunding’ to finance production of Model 3

    - Apr 13, 2016 6:59pm
    Two entrepreneurs at a startup company in Hong Kong have raised nearly HK$200 million (US$25.8 million) from crowdfunding website Kickstarter and venture capital funds to produce smart coffee machines. However, the brothers’ company has yet to...
  • Four in five invited applicants didn't show up recently when asked to pick their flats in the De Novo project in Kai Tak. Photo: HKEJ

    Why the De Novo housing units aren’t finding many takers

    - Apr 12, 2016 5:57pm
    Hong Kong government launched the so-called Sandwich Class Housing Scheme in the 1990s. But the scheme was halted in the new millennium following a housing market crash. Recently, the government unveiled a modified version of the...
  • An arrivals area at Shanghai airport is seen littered with goods that Chinese tourists have chosen to dump after their overseas trips, rather than pay hefty new import duties. Photo:

    Chinese aren’t happy with the new tax regime on luxury imports

    - Apr 11, 2016 5:36pm
    China kicked off on April 8 a new tax regime on luxury goods, after unveiling the new rules just a day earlier. Under the new regime, Chinese tourists who bring in foreign goods worth over 5,000...
  • Palentino (right) won the Group 1 Australian Guineas in Melbourne last month. Photo:

    Stud stallions a lucrative investment

    - Apr 8, 2016 2:49pm
    It’s quite common for listed companies to acquire assets, whether businesses, property, cars, wine or even airplanes. However, Sun International Resources Ltd. (08029.HK) said Wednesday that it spent HK$7.11 million (US$920,000) to acquire 15 percent of...
  • Alibaba has surpassed Walmart in gross merchandise volume for the first time, but its share price has continued to drop. Photos: Reuters, Bloomberg

    Alibaba struggling to convince US investors despite record GMV

    - Apr 7, 2016 5:37pm
    Business owners are quite wary of the distinction between a good turnover and a good profit. For listed-companies, a good profit does not necessarily boost the share price. Alibaba said on Wednesday that its gross merchandise...
  • The Panama Papers leaks from Mossack Fonseca could have a negative impact on Hong Kong's off-shore fund management sector. Photos: HKEJ, Reuters

    Panama Papers leak could have serious impact on Hong Kong

    - Apr 7, 2016 9:12am
    Many people in Hong Kong would associate Panama with the 1989 blockbuster movie God of Gamblers (賭神). One character in the movie said, “I have a friendship with the president of Panama.” In fact, Hong Kong has...
  • Lee Shau-kee (center) and his sons, Peter Lee Ka-kit (left) and Martin Lee Ka-shing, break with past Henderson Land practice by holding a post-results news conference Monday. Photo: HKEJ

    The usefulness of a post-results news conference

    - Mar 24, 2016 2:16pm
    Many things are taken for granted in Central’s business world. For example, most listed companies hold news conferences after announcing their interim and annual results. It’s become a well-established tradition. Until this week, Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd....
  • Jawboning by senior officials and a loosening of policies suggest the bull in China stocks will soon be back. Photo: Bloomberg

    China is ready for another bull market

    - Mar 22, 2016 6:13pm
    It’s said that, for mainland investors, three days of a market rally would change even their religion. They would jump onto the bandwagon; even the most pessimistic of investors would change their stance. In fact, the Shanghai Composite...
  • Shenzhen's soaring homes prices remind us of the Hong Kong property bubble in 1997. Even the pace of price growth is eerily similar. Photo: Bloomberg, HKEJ

    Soaring Shenzhen home prices a repeat of HK in 1997

    - Mar 2, 2016 6:03pm
    There’s nothing new under the sun. The rapid increase of Shenzhen’s home prices reminds me of Hong Kong in 1997. Home prices in Shenzhen rose 53 percent within a year. New homes are being sold at...
  • John Tsang, who hasn't had a significant policy initiative to his name during his nine years in office, is arguably the most mediocre financial secretary in Hong Kong's history. Photo: CNSA

    Is John Tsang the real deal?

    - Feb 26, 2016 3:54pm
    Using sociologist Max Weber’s theory, the people of Hong Kong can be categorized into four classes: the billionaires, the upper middle class, the lower middle class and the grass roots. Obviously, the lower middle class has...
  • China has released new regulations on internet news and information that covers all players including foreign companies. However, it's not clear what constitutes such services. Photo: Reuters

    China’s Great Firewall just got harder to climb

    - Feb 25, 2016 10:26am
    Beijing has expanded its internet footprint with the release of new regulations on online news and information. This dovetails with President Xi Jinping’s efforts to make all state media serve the Communist Party. Xi made this clear...
  • Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of one of Japan's largest sushi restaurant chains, has come up with the ingenious idea of hiring former Somali pirates to catch yellowfin tuna for him. Photo: Bloomberg

    Fancy sushi from a fish caught by pirates?

    - Feb 4, 2016 3:26pm
    As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them.  Given the ongoing downturn in the international shipping industry, fewer and fewer container ships are seen on the high seas these days. As a...
  • Ezubao was the title sponsor for the online subsidiary of Xinhua during top national meetings in Beijing in March last year. Photo: internet

    Rise and fall of Ezubao, a Chinese Ponzi scheme

    - Feb 3, 2016 4:33pm
    About 500 investors of Ezubao, a peer-to-peer lending platform, protested at the headquarters of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top anti-corruption agency, in Beijing. They intended to organize a protest of 100,000 people in the capital city....
  • Steven Cheung has pointed out key problems facing the Chinese economy, but his solutions may be a bit unrealistic. Photo: People Weekly

    There are no easy solutions for China economic woes

    - Jan 26, 2016 6:51pm
    Hong Kong-born American economist Steven Cheung Ng-sheong (張五常) recently gave a speech at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University, pointing out that the Chinese economy is in a deep crisis. During the speech, Cheung outlined three solutions, which...
  • Although China has ended its one-child policy, observers don't expect a big baby-boom in the country. Photo: Reuters

    China’s biggest headache: Not enough new babies

    - Jan 25, 2016 7:08pm
    China saw 16.55 million babies born in the country last year, a decline of 320,000 compared to 2014. For this year, the government has projected an increase of one million in new births over the 2015...
  • 'Have you met Steve Jobs? I have, I really have,'  Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung (left) said during a forum on the chief executive's policy address last week. Photo: i-Cable

    The art of name-dropping

    - Jan 25, 2016 12:46pm
    Name-dropping turns most people off, but there are ways to do it to your benefit. Psychologists at the University of Zurich conducted a controlled experiment in 2009 in which participants were introduced to a stranger who...
  • Producing the tiny rotating ball fitted to the tip of a ball pen has turned out to be an insuperable hurdle for Chinese manufacturers. Photo: Nayu Kim / Flickr

    What a ball pen tells us about China’s manufacturing weakness

    - Jan 22, 2016 3:58pm
    Premier Li Keqiang recently made a shocking revelation about the industrial capabilities of China on national television: despite the fact that the country is widely known as the “world’s factory” and produces everything from iPhones, aircraft carriers,...
  • Li Lu (extreme right) is a firm believer of value investing, of which the most famous proponent is billionaire Warren Buffett (second from left). Photo: WSJ

    Warren Buffett successor loading up on H shares?

    - Dec 11, 2015 11:09am
    Although Warren Buffett’s impressive track record has been much applauded by investors worldwide, applying his value investing approach to the China market over the past two decades has proved to be a disaster. Catching the latest...

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