Home sales jump as economy slackens

The mainland's residential housing sales jumped last month as homebuyers shrugged off property curbs amid expectations that a slowing economy would force the government to ease some of the restrictions.

Saturday, 14 July, 2012, 12:00am

Make retail prime focus, veteran says

Retail, not corporate, clients hold the key to the future for Asian banks, says Dick Kovacevich, former chairman and chief executive of US bank Wells Fargo.

'Right now, I think Asian banks are taking a lot of deposits and lending the money to commercial clients,' Kovacevich said.

9 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

A final step needed in bank reform

The fall of Barclays bank chief Bob Diamond is a defining moment in the debate about international banking reform in the wake of the global financial crisis. Diamond has been a vigorous champion of the pre-crisis universal banking model and light regulation.

6 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Chongqing investors eye shops for best returns

Chongqing native Chen Shuming has stuck resolutely through the lean times to a two-decades-old belief that buying property - particularly shops - is the best investment option no matter how much the central government tries to curb price rises through cooling measures.

4 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Cash for start-ups in loans scheme

The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation launched a microfinance programme yesterday, aimed at helping the cash-strapped - from start-ups to self-employed.

The agency, which aims to promote wider home ownership and develop the local debt market, said it was working with six banks and five non-governmental organisations to promote the plan.

30 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Preservation of wealth

Kevin McQueen explores the trend for fee-based discretionary banking.

25 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Puzzling times

One of the ironies of the Hong Kong property market is that prices keep going up at a time when transaction volumes are shrinking. A report from Ricacorp Properties says the average profit for secondhand homes sold in May was a staggering 53.3 per cent, the second successive month of historical highs.

22 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Lenders likely to take a hit as interest margin shrinks

Profitability of mainland banks will be hit this year as the government liberalises interest rates, says Standard & Poor's.

16 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Bank debt woes prompt insurance scheme plans

Beijing is looking into setting up a deposit insurance system to promote financial stability amid mounting worries about mainland banks' deteriorating asset quality.

Song Xiangyan, a deputy director with the international department at the People's Bank of China, said yesterday that the central bank would establish the system when the time was right.

15 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

China's banks in no position to launch fresh lending stimulus

Investors worried about a slowdown in the Chinese economy have taken heart this week from figures showing a rise in bank lending last month.

14 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Bank chief linked to loan sharking

The president of the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC), who has been taken into custody on suspicion of having committed economic crimes, is found to have been involved in illegal fund-raising activities as well.

The revelation is a fresh sign that lax supervision had made the lender vulnerable to irregularities.

13 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Smaller banks join rush to higher deposit rates

Second-tier banks followed major lenders in offering higher deposit rates than the benchmark, boosting competition in the finance sector after a recent move towards interest rate deregulation.

12 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Challenges despitedelay in capital rules

While mainland regulators have eased pressure on banks to fast-track improvements to meet tougher international rules regulating capital and liquidity, the next few years will still pose significant challenges, analysts say.

8 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Tougher capital rules delayed again

Beijing has pushed back to January 2013 the introduction of tougher capital requirements for banks, a move economists believe is aimed at countering the economic slowdown.

7 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Tapping pensions helps flat buyers

After contributing to the Chongqing municipal-government pension fund for six years, Lou Wei's dream of buying a home for her parents has finally come true.

That's because the government has relaxed its rules for withdrawals from the fund, to allow members to draw on their retirement accounts to help them fund the purchase of a home.

6 Jun 2012 - 12:00am