Hong Kong is the best place in Asia to do business so the government would have us believe. This may still be true but you have to wonder for how much longer. Businesses need banks, but Hong Kong over the past few years has become one of the hardest places in the world to open a bank account and it’s about to get worse. Continue reading
The vexed question of Stanley car park is raising its ugly head again. Readers may recall that Stanley in recent years has been threatened with the prospect of some three years of traffic chaos while an underground car park is built on the site of the current bus station in the middle of the town. Continue reading
Hong Kong businessman Jim Sutherland, who was a prosecution witness in the trial of Deborah Annells, has been acquitted of money laundering in relation to the UK’s biggest ever boiler room fraud. Continue reading
Swire Properties has announced it will not be renewing the lease of the popular restaurant Grappa’s in its Pacific Place mall. The restaurant will close in July after being a fixture in the mall for just over 25 years. HowardWinnReports.com wrote a few weeks ago that Swire was contemplating axing the restaurant as part of a strategy to ‘freshen up’ the mall. Continue reading
First Dan Ryan was eased out of Pacific Place. Now it appears the Italian restaurant Grappa’s is under threat of having to close when its contract expires later this year. Negotiations are still underway between the owners, El Grande Concepts, and Swire Properties. But there is speculation that at least some in Swire Properties management want Grappa’s out. Grappa’s has had this location since 1990 and still remains extremely popular. Continue reading
This year’s budget was notable for the Financial Secretary’s hand-wringing over events in Mong Kok, calling them shocking and an assault on Hong Kong’s core values.
John Tsang’s solution: “As long as everyone is willing to set aside short-term political considerations in favour of the long-term overall interests of Hong Kong, we shall have a chance to return to rationality.” While it is tempting to suggest he tells that to the Chinese Communist Party it has won him newspaper headlines for having ‘heart’ and being more in touch with Hong Kong’s problems than other senior government officials.
But leaving aside Tsang’s bromide political observations, his latest effort was much the same as previous budgets in that his main problem was to hide the extent of Hong Kong’s embarrassment of riches. Continue reading
Just when you thought you’d heard the last of jailed tax consultant Deborah Annells, at least until her next court appearance later this year, an intriguing postscript to her recent trial has emerged. Continue reading
Allan Murray died recently. He was aged 72 and had lived and worked in Hong Kong since arriving here in 1971. He spent most of his working life as a stockbroker with Jardine Fleming, a joint venture formed in 1970 between Jardine Matheson and London merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. Despite his easy going business style he survived its acquisition by the rather more straight-laced US investment bank, JP Morgan Chase and went on to become Chairman of Hong Kong Equity Broking a position he held until his recent death from a brain haemorrhage. Continue reading
This story centres on Jim Middleton who is chairman of the NGO, Clear the Air. He has a small business and banks with HSBC. He has had a personal account with the the bank since 1968 and a commercial banking account since 1983, which you would think was ample time for HSBC to get to know its customer. Apparently not. Continue reading
Discussions into the reasons for the Mong Kok riot are now well underway. HowardWinnReports.com views it as another bleak expression of frustration with the current social and political conditions in Hong Kong and should have come as no great surprise. Indeed, a threat assessment in October 2014 by the specialist risk consultancy, Steve Vickers and Associates, noted the possibility of, “Some small scale violent actions may possibly be taken by splinter groups….” Continue reading