The 10 best read business articles: Cathay Pacific, Hui’s mistress v the liquidator, Jack Ma’s Peak pad and Airbus woes

Here are the top 10 of business stories for 2015, is your favourite in the list?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 December, 2015, 6:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 January, 2016, 4:16pm

In Hong Kong everyone has a stake in business, whether they work for one or play the market. So the SCMP’s business coverage has been scrutinised closely in 2015. Here are the top stories as voted by our readers — with their clicks.

1. Frequent fliers in Cathay Pacific’s cheap seats face big let-down

Hong Kong is full of fliers, whether they’re expats or locally born, Hongkongers fly a lot. So when Cathay Pacific announced it would change their system our readers responded, hungry for news on the future of their program and how far their miles will go. They’ve made this January story our most read business news piece.

2. Liquidator runs after mistress of bankrupt former chief secretary Rafael Hui

Enoch Yiu, an oracle of Hong Kong business in her own right, brought us a sordid tale of intrigue butting up against the cold truth of liquidation. Will love (or lust) conquer the law? Read on.

3. Airbus A380 has failed to live up to its hype after 10 years in the skies

There was something in the air in 2015 and for our readership, travel related stories gained a huge response. This April story told the truth behind the hype about Airbus’s double-decker flagship after dismal orders and poor sales showed a market that wasn’t prepared for the mega-jumbo airliner.

4. Li Ka-shing plans to make a killing as he cuts corporate ties with HK

Shirley Yam informed with her blog post about the graduation from Hong Kong of its richest man, Li Ka-shing, to his Caymans registered company. Read on for possibly the longest string of milk metaphors ever seen.

5. Asia’s most expensive apartment sells in Hong Kong for record HK$434 million

While no longer Asia’s most expensive apartment, it was at the time. In fact it has been eclipsed at least three times in the red-hot Hong Kong real estate market since the story was published in April. Does the price of a square foot of floor space have no ceiling?

6. ‘China likely to end up as former would-be superpower’, says man who foresaw Japan’s demise

The question of our time has been whether China’s economic rise will force a global power shift. Some say it’s already happening but others like this forecaster said China’s “vulnerabilities” in its property sector, its international loans program and the stock market will unpick the fabric of its success. Was he right?

7. Has Alibaba’s Jack Ma bought HK$1.5 billion home on Hong Kong’s Peak?

Yep. He did. But the sale of 22 Barker Road to Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, ignited speculation over his next move after he secured the luxe pad in Hong Kong. It became clearer when the sale of the South China Morning Post Group’s media arm, including this company, was announced.

8. Lan Kwai Fong bar owners step up campaign against 7-Eleven

Howard Winn’s January blog post played Hong Kong and Singapore’s liquor licensing regimes against each other on the topic of whether 7-Eleven should be able to sell liquor without a license alongside Lan Kwai Fong bars.

9. Disappearance of China Aircraft leasing chief fuels speculation of graft probe widening to aviation

In June the talk of a crackdown on graft in China was still considered speculation, unlike now when it has been confirmed. One of the earlier stories about heads of major state-owned entities in China going missing was about Mike Poon Ho Man, whose disappearance was a source of discussion. Of course Poon’s absence was a foretaste of major upheaval at his company, China Aircraft Leasing Group.

10. Margin calls trigger panic sell-off in China stock market

When the China stock market bubble burst, companies were in danger and people’s life savings were on the line. In the two weeks prior to this story the equivalent of HK$17.4 trillion was wiped off the value of mainland stocks