Business as usual after Lee victory
HO SWEE LIN
Brokers expect it will be business as usual now that Taiwan's presidential elections are over, but more belligerent moves on the part of Beijing could bring a backlash in the Hong Kong stock market.
Brokers said many investors were treating the Taiwan issue almost as a non-event last week, as evidenced by the pursuit of property stocks after the government land auction last Monday.
Market-watchers said progress in China-Taiwan relations would be monitored closely because President Lee Teng-hui's overwhelming re-election victory, seen as an embarrassment for China, might prompt China to retaliate in an effort to save face, some brokers said.
An analyst said: 'I believe many people had wanted Lee to win by a small majority only. But now that he has won by a large majority, it was a slap in the face for the Chinese.' Most market-watchers agreed that the next few weeks will be crucial for Hong Kong to gauge the improvement in China-Taiwan relations.