See the 'Barbarian Suppressing and Pacifying General'

Learn from Li Hongzhang

There is a new attraction on the Central waterfront. No, it's not another shopping mall, bar or restaurant. We are referring to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, which opened at its new location at Central's Pier 8 last month, after six years at Murray House in Stanley.

Tuesday, 26 March, 2013, 5:39am

Who will rescue Cypriot banks - the EU or Russia?

The Cyprus cabinet was meeting in crisis session today to approve a 'Plan B' bailout deal with the EU and IMF, as crowds gathered outside parliament expecting the measure to be put to a vote. Photo: AFP

What started off as a botched rescue of the banking system in Cyprus has morphed into geopolitical brinkmanship between Russia and the European Union. It now looks like a fight over who will bail out the oligarchs and other rich depositors from Russia who put their money in high-interest-paying offshore accounts in Cypriot banks, which face collapse.

22 Mar 2013 - 4:00am

Money laundering a serious problem

Kevin Zervos, Director of Public Prosecutions at Department of Justice. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The money laundering offence provision was enacted by the legislature some time ago in 1995, and since then it has been the subject of extensive judicial scrutiny.

21 Mar 2013 - 2:50am 3 comments

Return of the shareholder

Credit Suisse is hoping a major overhaul will jolt the interests of shareholders and bankers back into alignment. Photo: Reuters

Credit Suisse Group chief executive Brady Dougan said pay for bankers was still outpacing shareholder returns, a dynamic that would change once the bank completed an overhaul of its business model.

21 Mar 2013 - 5:20am

Former head of Iceland's failed Kaupthing bank faces conspiracy trial

Icelandic banker Sigurdur "Siggi" Einarsson, who ran Kaupthing bank until its collapse five years ago, is among nine former senior staff who have been charged in Reykjavik with orchestrating five large-scale market manipulation conspiracies.

21 Mar 2013 - 3:00am

Insurers feel the pain of anti-laundering law

Chan Kin-por

Insurers have complained that the anti-money laundering law introduced a year ago puts too big a burden on their shoulders. Some of the conditions should be changed or removed because they had gone too far and made life tough for insurers, said insurance sector legislator Chan Kin-por.

18 Mar 2013 - 4:44am

Are Chinese banks really prepared for launch in Hong Kong?

China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC) President and CEO Levin Zhu. Photo: Reuters

It's no secret in Hong Kong's financial community that mainland banks have become the major job creators in the city, rescuing many laid-off bankers, mostly from Western banks.

Now it seems more job opportunities will appear at mainland banks and securities firms as they are set to open branches and offices in Hong Kong this year, thanks to Beijing's latest policy thrust.

18 Mar 2013 - 9:03am

Standard Chartered keen to grow branch numbers on mainland China

Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered, said the bank had made a good start to the year. Photo: May Tse

Peter Sands, the chief executive of the British bank, said the mainland would be one of the drivers for the group in the coming years.

14 Mar 2013 - 7:47am

Conviction endangers respect for the law

Under Beijing's capital flow restrictions, breaking up their money flows into thousands of little trickles and combining them again on the other side is how mainlanders move their money in and out.

Take note of what this ridiculous law actually says. It is a crime to handle money in a way that looks to others as if you are laundering it, whether or not you are actually doing so and whoever these others may be.

14 Mar 2013 - 6:41am 10 comments

HSBC's Gulliver becomes poster boy for Brobdingnagian bonuses

Stuart Gulliver. Photo: Bloomberg

HSBC just announced disappointing results for 2012, a year full of bad news for the global bank founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Despite bad results, chief executive Stuart Gulliver still secured a bonus of £1.95 million (HK$22.7 million) for last year. His total compensation came to HK$109 million, including the release of deferred bonuses from previous years. For comparison, Gulliver's total compensation in 2011 was HK$82 million.

14 Mar 2013 - 2:34pm 1 comment

CCB eyes bigger Taiwanese bank stake

Zhang Jianguo, China Construction Bank president

Taiwan's financial regulator should relax the 5 per cent limit on mainland bank shareholdings in financial institutions on the island, China Construction Bank president Zhang Jianguo said yesterday.

7 Mar 2013 - 6:12am

Rolling Stone gathers no real proof

David Bagley (left), head of group compliance for HSBC Holdings, and Paul Thurston, chief executive officer of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC, at a hearing on the money laundering allegations. Photo: Bloomberg

How some people can manufacture outrage and get away with it. That's my take on Rolling Stone's treatment of how the US Justice Department mounted another scalp in its trophy case by extorting US$1.9 billion from HSBC.

7 Mar 2013 - 6:12am 2 comments

Whither the Easter Bunny?

Logo of Swiss bank UBS and a slogan reading 'we will not rest' is seen in a window of a building at Paradeplatz square in Zurich. Photo: Reuters

It made me smile last November when Patrick Odier, group chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, observed that “we have an image problem.” Understatement of the century. He was referring to Swiss banking’s Easter Bunny being increasingly redundant since America clipped the wings five years earlier of banks that facilitated tax evaders.

27 Feb 2013 - 2:50pm

Expectations high as results season begins for banks

Bank of East Asia is due to kick off the reporting season for Hong Kong banks today, with analysts expecting slower growth. Photo: Robert Ng

Bank of East Asia (BEA), the largest independent local bank in Hong Kong, is scheduled to announce its full-year results today, kicking off the reporting season for listed banks.

26 Feb 2013 - 5:13am

Hong Kong's financial sector remains to be convinced by the benefits of Qianhai

Christopher Cheung Wah-fung.

While bankers see big benefits from Qianhai development there is scepticism elsewhere in the financial industry about whether the plan will benefit the sector or the Hong Kong economy as a whole.

26 Feb 2013 - 4:54am