50 Years Ago
HONGKONG (May 24): THE Hongkong share market was in a state of excitement all day yesterday following a rush to take advantage of low-priced counters, especially those of the public utility companies. A record daily turnover for the year of $1,850,000 was registered.
One reason given was that the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange had temporarily suspended transactions and speculators had turned to shares, while another was that news of the reinforcement of the Hongkong garrison had given people a confidence which was lacking before.
Sterling pound notes, the Australian pound, the U.S. dollar and piastres were also in good demand.
The Share Market was besieged when it re-opened yesterday morning and was in an excited state all day. Prices automatically shot up. Business done in the morning amounted to $859,000. The rush eased off slightly during the afternoon session, due to profit taking which occurred towards the end of the day, but generally the prices were fairly well maintained. A turnover of over $1,850,000 for the day's business was registered, constituting a record for this year. The previous record was $1,239,193 ten days ago.
A prominent member of the Stock Exchange said the rush yesterday was due probably to people who were nervous about devaluation of the Hongkong dollar and decided to put their money into sound shares which would appreciate, he said, if devaluation actually occurred.
He estimated there were several thousand millions of idle money on deposit in Hongkong. Asked what the market would be like in the near future, the broker said it was hard to predict. 'There may be fluctuations in the market but taking a long view there must be a rise. Definitely the movement is upward.' Advertisement from SCMP, May 1949