Economy of Asia

Yuan pressured as trade surplus grows to US$24b

The mainland's trade surplus ballooned more than expected and hit US$24 billion last month, increasing pressure on Beijing to let the yuan appreciate against the US dollar.

Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am

China locomotive still relies on US economy for traction

Everybody is desperately hoping that the growing demand of Chinese consumers for goods and services can emerge as a new locomotive for the global economy.

Policymakers in the Western world hope so, because they see greater domestic consumption in China as the key to rebalancing the global economy.

9 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

Stimulus felt at industrial firms as profit falls ease in first nine months

The decline in profits at the mainland's leading industrial firms eased in the first nine months of this year as government-led economic stimulus measures powered ahead.

29 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

Growth in region to surpass expectations

The region's economies are poised for better than expected growth this year and next as strong government support and stable financial systems have helped soften the blow of the global downturn, the Asian Development Bank said yesterday.

23 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

You can't have decoupling in an age of globalisation

With Asia showing signs of clawing its way out of the slump ahead of the developed world, there has been a sudden rebound in talk about decoupling: the idea that East Asia can unshackle its economic performance from that of the rich countries and achieve sustainable growth independently.

26 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

A chance to emerge stronger from crisis

Amid hopes that the worst of the global financial crisis is behind us, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has unveiled a strategy for sustaining Hong Kong's economic development. The government is to play a key role in promoting six knowledge-based industries identified as new engines of economic growth.

23 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Personal bankruptcy petitions decline for second month in a row

The number of personal bankruptcy petitions fell for the second straight month last month but jumped 53.52 per cent from May last year, the government said.

According to figures released by the Official Receiver's Office, there were 7,545 bankruptcy petitions in the first five months of this year, almost 70 per cent more than the 4,442 reported in the same period last year.

20 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Investors pouring good money after bad into black hole

At yesterday's close, Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index was priced at 17 times expected earnings for this year.

To put that number into perspective, throughout the long bull market that prevailed from April 2003 to October 2007, the index's average valuation was just 15 times earnings (see the first chart below).

12 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Take your pick between incompetence and cynicism

There are two ways of looking at the HK$16.8 billion package of economic relief measures announced by the government on Tuesday. Neither is encouraging.

The first way is to take Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's explanation for the handouts at face value.

28 May 2009 - 12:00am

Steelmakers' profits to suffer, rebound or not

The mainland's steel industry, the world's biggest, is a melting pot of contradictions.

Production has remained high even though demand has fallen. This has given support to the prices of raw materials, while margins are continually being squeezed.

25 May 2009 - 12:00am

Nothing surprising in the depth of HK's slump

The only surprising thing about Hong Kong's first-quarter economic figures released last Friday was that so many people were surprised by just how awful they were.

18 May 2009 - 12:00am

Economic data provides a harsh dose of reality

Since the world's stock markets hit a nadir in early March, investors' expectations have fallen so low that they have been ready to uncork the champagne whenever economic data turned out to be slightly better than expected. Now, there is good reason for everyone to face reality. A string of data released this week, in Hong Kong and elsewhere, offers little cause for comfort.

16 May 2009 - 12:00am

April exports dive 22.6pc to make case for further pump-priming

Mainland exports fell more than expected last month, dashing hopes of an early recovery in trade and putting more pressure on government pump-priming to rejuvenate a sluggish economy.

13 May 2009 - 12:00am

Bali pact an important step for region

East Asia has made a small, but significant step. The signing by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and South Korea of a US$120 billion pact upgrading bilateral currency swap arrangements to a multilateral scheme by the end of the year is a first. It comes more than a decade too late to help countries battered by the Asian financial crisis.

5 May 2009 - 12:00am

5pc of taxes go uncollected as more default on payment

The government failed to collect about 5 per cent of taxes owed in 2008/09, up from 3.6 per cent in the previous fiscal year, as the ratio of tax payments in arrears worsened for the first time in six years.

The value of unpaid taxes amounts to just less than HK$7.24 billion, compared to almost HK$5 billion in 2007/08, according to government data.

5 May 2009 - 12:00am