Lai See

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 April, 2004, 12:00am

cracking the code

Gentlemanly codes of self-regulation have died hard in clubby Hong Kong. An initiative to cast daylight on the antics of Hong Kong's accountants was a requirement for the profession's main oversight body to publicly reprimand those naughty members caught breaking the rules.

The rule was introduced in December and on Friday we received a batch of reprimands.

The point of the exercise was to increase industry transparency and accountability. So it was perhaps a shame that it took up to six months for publication of various fines and disbarment notices made last year. What is more, the Hong Kong Society of Accountants neglected to mention any of the firms employing the offending bean counters.


China rolled out the red carpet on Friday for the members of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) as a reward for holding its spring meeting in Shanghai for the first time.

Huang Ju, the vice-premier in charge of finance and one of the nine members of the standing committee of the politburo that controls China, gave the keynote speech. He arrived not in a Mercedes-Benz but in a humble minibus, which also carried the mayor and the party chief of Shanghai.

The hotel that hosted the meeting rolled out a real red carpet for Mr Huang to walk along on his way to the lift, accompanied by IIF bosses.

Enjoying blue skies and spring sunshine, IIF members sipped coffee on a balcony overlooking the Huangpu River. As if on cue, large cargo vessels glided in front of them, against the backdrop of the Puxi waterfront. Is Shanghai not the centre of the world?