Tsang and Ma to lead delegations to Mao's birthplace

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2006, 12:00am

Hunan is well known for its hot climate and spicy food and for being the birthplace of famous revolutionaries such as Mao Zedong.

This month, the province of 66 million will be under a double spotlight - as the focal point of the commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the death of Mao and as the destination for two Hong Kong government delegations whose mission is to promote the SAR's financial markets.

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Frederick Ma Si-hang, is at the head of a group of 120 bankers, lawyers, accountants and brokers that will visit Changsha, Hunan's capital, from tomorrow until Friday to meet with provincial authorities. At the same time Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing will hold a seminar to encourage Hunan companies to float their shares in the Hong Kong market.

On September 24-26 Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will be in Hunan to promote economic ties between the province and the SAR. Travelling with him will be members of the financial elite, such as HKEx chairman Ronald Arculli.

Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association chairman Tony Espina, who is scheduled to accompany both Mr Ma and Mr Tsang, says Hunan is potentially a good source of Hong Kong listing candidates.

'Hunan Nonferrous Metals, China's top zinc producer, raised HK$1.7 billion and has been listed in Hong Kong since March. It has been very popular. I think it's worth going there to see if there are any other potential listing candidates,' Mr Espina said.

dbs goes red and black

DBS - or Development Bank of Singapore as it's formally known - has spent S$10 million (HK$49.42 million) on a re-branding exercise but guess what - DBS is still DBS.

What has changed is the bank's colour scheme. Red and black have replaced orange as the key colours.

'This is to show that we are a dynamic Asian bank, since red connotes luck and happiness in Asia while black is contemporary,' said a DBS spokeswoman.

The bank has also produced three new TV commercials for Hong Kong on the theme of how the second generation makes use of their parents' traditional knowledge.

black for hsbc chief

More on colour or lack of it.

If you went to the airport last Friday and encountered 900 men and women in black suits and dresses, you may be wondering what was up.

In fact, these darkly clad individuals were bankers, staff of HSBC who had turned out to greet new chief executive Michael Geoghegan.

Mr Geoghegan, who became chief in late May, stopped for a few hours at the airport as part of his world get-acquainted tour.

So why the black garb? Insiders tell White Collar that in spite of the bank's new casual dress code, most staff thought it would be inappropriate to meet their new boss in anything but sober attire. They decided that black was best to show their serious side.

hip-hop bean counters

Local accountants celebrated CPA Day last Friday and it was something special. Instead of a cocktail party, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants celebrated in a hip-hop way with its own music video ('Tute in da House) featuring original lyrics sung by the members. A sample:

Well I'm a CPA and that's what I do

I know it doesn't sound sexy to you

But I can tell you I'm a person of repute

And it's all because I belong to the 'Tute.

A dream fulfilled

Accounting may well be more exciting than we thought but it's still not for everyone. William Louey Lai-kuen, for instance, a third-generation descendant of the founder of Kowloon Motor Bus, didn't stay in the profession despite graduating with a degree in accounting and financial management from Buckingham University in Britain.

Mr Louey, our guest on this week's podcast, is now chairman of Hong Kong Construction (Technology), whose Geofiber is considered a breakthrough in sustainable urban greening to help protect the steep slopes of Hong Kong.

His other major focus is the William SD Louey Foundation, an educational charity that honours his grandfather's memory. In the past 16 years, the fund has allowed 35 disadvantaged students in China and Hong Kong to study overseas.

'I always wanted to come top in mathematics or whatever but I could never do it because I'm not that gifted academically. When I find someone who can do it, it's like they're fulfilling my dream,' he said.

'My dream is to create more Bill Gateses in China.'