Date
18 January 2019

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • Arunachalam Muruganantham and his pad-making machines. Photo: DesignForFreedom/YouTube

    What a Bollywood movie tells us about the economy

    - Jan 18, 2019 6:08pm
    Some are worried that the global economic growth may run out of steam if the world’s largest growth engine, China, shifts to a lower gear.  A recent Bollywood movie, Pad Man, may offer some insight as to...
  • The central government has rolled out a raft of measures to boost liquidity in the system, but the investment appetite has barely improved. Photo: AFP

    Improving business environment key to China economic revival

    - Jan 17, 2019 5:49pm
    As downward pressure mounts on China’s economy, Beijing has announced a raft of measures to boost liquidity in the financial system. However, offering more liquidity does not necessarily guarantee that people will borrow.  The People’s Bank of...
  • Luckin Coffee, which has emerged as a strong challenger to Starbucks in China, is said to have begun preparations for a Hong Kong listing. Photo: Reuters

    Will Luckin Coffee prove a good IPO bet?

    - Jan 16, 2019 4:20pm
    Chinese startup Luckin Coffee is reportedly seeking an IPO in Hong Kong this year, even as global coffee chain giant Starbucks has warned of a slowdown in the China market. Targeting a similar customer group, Luckin’s...
  • Tycoon Li Ka-shing has urged the public to be cautious, saying the economic environment could prove far more challenging compared to recent years. Photo: Reuters

    Is global economy facing a deeper problem than trade war?

    - Jan 15, 2019 4:35pm
    Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing warned last Friday that the “global economy will deteriorate this year, and GDP growth is likely to be subdued all over the world.” The business tycoon urged the public to...
  • Chinese stocks have become undervalued following the markets' steep slide last year, a CSRC official has noted. Photo: China Daily

    Chinese officials putting weight behind equity market

    - Jan 15, 2019 10:17am
    Chinese officials are again attempting to talk up the stock market, just like what they did in 2015. So, the question arises: are authorities trying to create another bull market through manipulation? Fang Xinghai, vice chairman...
  • Under-investment and insufficient scale among local operators have led to a gradual decline in Hong Kong’s ranking amid top global container ports. Photo: Bloomberg

    HK port sector fights back after slipping to 7th place

    - Jan 14, 2019 9:51am
    The last time Hong Kong’s container port was ranked at the top globally was in 2004. Since then, it has gradually slipped to the No.7 spot, due to diminishing competitiveness in efficiency and costs. To fight...
  • History shows that unorthodox government support for equity markets can easily backfire in China as such moves tend to encourage hordes of speculators. Photo: Reuters

    Should PBoC directly buy A-shares to support the market?

    - Jan 11, 2019 10:38am
    Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses slumped 25 percent and 34 percent respectively last year. Amid the equities slide, some brokerage houses and media have been suggesting that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) should consider buying A-shares...
  • Tesla will save considerable amounts in logistics and production costs when it opens its Shanghai factory. Photo: Reuters

    Why Chinese automakers may not benefit from any US trade deal

    - Jan 9, 2019 5:02pm
    The fresh round of vice-ministerial-level trade talks between US and China had a good start this week. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He made a surprise appearance at the meeting, sending a positive signal and helping lift...
  • Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the government wants to make sure the planned assistance to first-time homebuyers will not fuel the housing market. Photo: Bloomberg

    Should government help first-time homebuyers?

    - Jan 9, 2019 10:31am
    Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the government will consider helping people who don’t have enough for a down payment to buy their first flat, while making sure such a move won’t fuel the housing market.  This...
  • Chinese banks are scrambling for mortgage clients amid the economic slowdown. Photo: CNS

    A Chinese bank launches relay mortgages

    - Jan 7, 2019 4:37pm
    A branch of Agricultural Bank of China in Hangzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province has launched a relay mortgage, which allows parents and their children to jointly apply for a loan. The bank said the product...
  • Stanley Wong, chairman of the Task Force on Land Supply, speaks to reporters on Dec. 31 after presenting the panel's final report to the government. Photo: HKEJ

    HK’s best chance of boosting land supply near term

    - Jan 3, 2019 5:15pm
    The Task Force on Land Supply submitted eight recommended land supply options to the government on December 31. The option of “Developing Brownfield Sites” received 87 percent public support. The second most popular option was tapping...
  • Starter homes at Hong Kong's eResidence project are aimed at middle-class families who do not qualify for public rental housing or subsidized flats but can't afford homes in the private market. Photo: HKEJ

    HK’s first ‘starter home’ project a test of market demand

    - Jan 2, 2019 4:42pm
    Hong Kong has witnessed the first batch of starter homes at the “eResidence” project in Hung Hom, Kowloon, being launched for sale at HK$11,692 and HK$13,969 per square foot. The “starter home” scheme was one of...
  • CICC's forecast that US equities would rise in 2018 proved incorrect, but it was right in predicting increased market volatility. Photo: Reuters

    The unpredicatable Mr Market

    - Jan 2, 2019 10:07am
    Most investors have probably suffered losses over the course of 2018, given the weak performances of China, Hong Kong and US equities. There are over 6,000 mutual funds in China, most of which are fixed income...
  • Japan has emerged as a top destination for mainland Chinese visitors, apart from being a favorite tourism spot for Hong Kong travelers. Photo: Reuters

    As Chinese travelers flock to Japan, so do Chinese investors

    - Dec 31, 2018 9:33am
    Various surveys show that Japan is constantly the top holiday destination for Hong Kong travelers. Among the 10 most popular cities Hong Kong people plan to visit during the New Year Holiday, four of them are...
  • Heytea is known for its milk cap fruit tea drinks, which use authentic ingredients rather than concentrates. Photo: Sina/Xinmin

    How Chinese brand Heytea appeals to youngsters

    - Dec 28, 2018 9:47am
    Mainland Chinese tea chain Heytea spawned a three-hour-long queue when it opened its first Hong Kong shop in Sha Tin recently, showing how pop culture on the mainland is getting widely accepted among young Hongkongers. The...
  • Some observers believe that private housing prices in HK may fall due to a planned boost in supply of public housing, while others argue that less private housing supply may underpin the prices. Photo: HKEJ

    Will home prices go up or down under new HK housing policy?

    - Dec 27, 2018 2:11pm
    Hong Kong’s public housing supply will be increased to an extent that it will account for 70 percent of the total for the next decade, according to the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee. This ratio...
  • Greentown China Holdings will pay a hefty premium for an 11.55 percent stake in Aeon Life Insurance. Photo: HKEJ

    Developer Greentown’s odd move to buy an insurer

    - Dec 24, 2018 8:38am
    Soon after Chinese developer Greentown China Holdings (03900.HK) announced its plan to spend 2.72 billion yuan (US$393.98 million) to acquire an 11.55 percent stake in Aeon Life Insurance, investors voted with their feet and Greentown shares...
  • Hong Kong's property market could do with a healthy correction following the steep rise in home prices in recent years, observers say. Photo: Reuters

    HK housing market may see an orderly correction

    - Dec 21, 2018 11:10am
    In assessing the prospects of Hong Kong’s housing market, one hears all sorts of theories and various speculations. Cutting through the noise, we can say there are two “gray rhinos” that will determine the market direction....
  • José Mourinho did not endear himself to United Manchester fans with his defensive tactics and preference for seasoned players. Photo: Reuters

    Why Manchester United fans hated Mourinho so much

    - Dec 20, 2018 12:19pm
    Manchester United fans got a wonderful Christmas gift. The football club sacked manager José Mourinho with immediate effect on Tuesday morning. More than 90 percent of United fans thought Mourinho should leave the club, according to a...
  • While the overall crime rate in Hong Kong is declining, the number of fraud cases is on the rise. Photo: Reuters

    The era of online scams

    - Dec 19, 2018 12:27pm
    It’s widely believed that only those with little education would fall for phone scams. Apparently, this is not the case.  Leo Ho Cheuk-yin, winner of the World Solo Harmonica Championship at the age of 15 in 2009,...

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