14 November 2019

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • 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...
  • Tung Che-hwa was forced to scrap his plan to build 85,000 public housing units after a fierce market backlash. Now he is proposing a scheme to boost home ownership rates to 80 percent of households. Photo: HKEJ

    Is Tung Chee-hwa’s housing proposal too good to be true?

    - Nov 13, 2015 3:18pm
    Hong Kong people still remember the property market collapse amid an abortive plan by then Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to build 85,000 public housing units. That began in 1998, shortly after Tung became Hong Kong’s first post-colonial...
  • Hong Kong firms can leverage the consumer trust and develop their own Chinese medicinal herb farms, rather than resort to imports. Photo: HKEJ

    HK firms must tap the opportunity in Chinese medicinal herbs

    - Oct 16, 2015 3:24pm
    Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou’s Nobel Prize win has fueled fresh investor interest in mainland pharmaceutical firms and also ignited a heated debate about the Chinese herbal medicine sector. Interestingly, however, the subject of the debate...
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership brings together 12 Pacific Rim countries that account for 40 percent of global GDP. It could become the largest trade alliance in the world. Photo: HKEJ

    TPP: Why Singapore wins and Hong Kong loses

    - Oct 9, 2015 11:46am
    Two years ago, I wrote two articles in which I pointed out that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is in fact intended to be a containment measure by the US against China. As a result, it is...
  • Macau's property prices surged in the past decade due to the gaming industry boom. Now, as the industry has slowed down, so has the housing market. Photo: HKEJ

    Why we can’t compare HK and Macau property markets

    - Sep 18, 2015 4:44pm
    As uncertainties continue to cast a pall over Hong Kong’s housing market, even the real estate gurus are becoming increasingly bearish. Among the pessimists, seasoned property investor Chan Ching-bak, often dubbed the “White Tornado”, has even...
  • Even though there might be 85,000 residential units in the next three to four years, these are not enough to meet demand. The risk of a price slump is low. Photo: HKEJ

    Should we take Chan’s 85,000 flat supply forecast seriously?

    - Sep 17, 2015 5:29pm
    Secretary for Development Paul Chan recently dropped a bombshell by forecasting that as many as 85,000 private residential flats will be available for sale in the next three to four years. That implies property prices are...
  • Plans were afoot to close the Newton Hotel in North Point long before the announcement of its shutdown on Wednesday last week. Photo:

    Why the closing of the Newton Hotel is a warning to Hong Kong

    - Sep 4, 2015 10:26am
    The Newton Hotel in North Point “suddenly” closed last week. Many saw this as “the first drop of blood” shed as a result of the recent slowdown in tourism in Hong Kong. So does the closing of...
  • plumbers and electrical workers earn more than most university graduates. Photo:

    Looking for an ideal husband? Here’s the best advice

    - Aug 22, 2015 8:02am
    In an online forum post that has gone viral in Hong Kong, a female netizen expressed her grief over being called a “bitch” after she told her girl friend that she was making a wrong marriage...