Preservation is best option

With G20 politicians and respected economists vying with each other in the direness of their predictions, high-net-worth investors in Asia are adopting the only strategy that makes much sense: a safety-first policy.

Sunday, 2 October, 2011, 12:00am

Loan sharks lure gambler to Macau with honey trap

A casino loan-shark gang used a 'honey trap' racket to lure a Hong Kong man to Macau where he racked up gambling debts of HK$180,000 in a day, police revealed yesterday.

1 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

China could show Europe a way out of the debt trap

If you believed the pundits and world-class financial analysts a few months ago, China was caught in 'the biggest financial bubble in history' and was heading towards a painful hard landing. But, after a while (and probably after somebody somewhere made a killing and somebody else lost their shirt), its economic crisis mysteriously disappeared.

30 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Lending curbs put firms in bind

It was a case of premature celebration for Hong Kong factory owner Danny Lau Tat-pong when his application for a 5 million yuan (HK$6 million) loan to a bank in Dongguan was swiftly approved two months ago.

28 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Greentown shares dive on news of probe

Shares of debt-laden property developer Greentown China Holdings plunged 16.23 per cent yesterday on reports the mainland banking regulator had asked trust companies to report their exposure to the Hangzhou-based company.

23 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Consumer loans to triple on mainland

Mainland consumer lending is expected to triple to 21 trillion yuan (HK$25.6 trillion) by 2016, driven by rising personal incomes and strong economic growth.

The consumer loan balance, which includes home mortgages, credit cards, car loans and consumer finance, may grow at an average annual rate of 24 per cent from 7 trillion yuan in 2010, said Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

1 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Listed companies cash in from the cash-starved

Some 58 listed mainland companies lent more than 16 billion yuan (HK$19.55 billion) in the first eight months of this year in so-called entrusted loans to cash-starved, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises and real estate developers, to take advantage of high unofficial interest rates.

31 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Question of credibility

At a time when global markets are facing new uncertainties every few days, it is important we look at the facts carefully. One of the biggest news is Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States credit rating, but experts feel there is a lot of over-reaction.

19 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Injecting equities into income

The Franklin Income Fund is a benchmark US$1.1 billion fund run by Franklin Templeton that returned 11.72 per cent in 2010. Historically, this has been a debt-focused fund. But more recently it has switched to an almost equal emphasis on equities and debt, with a particular focus on dividend stocks.

15 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

What a US sovereign default would mean for Hong Kong

Ask most financial analysts about the likely consequences of a US sovereign default - or even just a ratings downgrade - and the chances are that you will get the same answer.

'It's unthinkable,' they will reply, quickly following up with, 'but it's not going to happen anyway.'

19 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Weaker firms may lose access to debt markets

Hong Kong-listed GCL-Poly Energy Holdings is one of a handful of Chinese companies that may lose access to debt capital markets because of weak corporate governance, according to a report issued by Fitch Ratings.

In its report Fitch assessed what it called the corporate governance and financial weaknesses of all 35 mainland companies whose debt it rates.

19 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Higher loan shark interest hurting firms

Black market interest rates in China's Zhejiang province have surged to 10 per cent monthly, a fresh sign that privately-owned companies are grappling with a worsening business climate due to Beijing's monetary tightening.

The interest rate charged by loan sharks translates into nearly 20 times the benchmark target rate of an annualised 6.56 per cent set by the central bank.

18 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

US must resolve bitter budget feud

The eurozone debt crisis is real enough, with fears of contagion making markets jittery. Alongside it, the deadlock in negotiations over raising the US debt ceiling has seemed a touch surreal.

18 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Loan sharks biting chunks out of firms

A series of mainland interest rate rises is causing headaches for the private sector, as loan sharks cash in on firms unable to obtain credit from banks.

18 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Report warns of banks' exposure

Standard & Poor's said yesterday that regional commercial banks in China faced higher risks than national commercial banks when it came to exposure to local government debt.

15 Jul 2011 - 12:00am