Credit clamps push smaller brokers to brink

Smaller brokers are losing out in iBond sales. Photo: Nora Tam

Smaller brokers in Hong Kong are losing clients, and some are on the verge of shutting down as credit limits by banks constrain them from offering margin financing to buyers of iBonds.

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 5:20am

Letters to the Editor, June 14, 2013

Tranquil Lantau is now under threat. Photo: SCMP Pictures

iBond lacks real power to tackle inflation

With a view to alleviating citizens' livelihood problems, the government has launched the third batch of the iBond (inflation-indexed bond).

14 Jun 2013 - 2:50am 7 comments

525,000 subscribers flock to iBonds

Hongkongers wait outside a bank in Kwun Tong earlier this month to subscribe to the third issue of iBonds. Photo: Dickson Lee

More than half a million Hongkongers - a total of 525,359 - subscribed for the third batch of government inflation-linked bonds, up more than threefold from 155,835 applications for the first batch in 2011 and 58 per cent up on the 332,467 who applied for last year's batch.

14 Jun 2013 - 3:49am

Talking points

HK summit on climate change and investment

HK summit on climate change and investment

13 Jun 2013 - 2:06am

Hong Kong brokers face funding squeeze in rush for iBonds

Hongkongers line up outside a bank in Kwun Tong on Tuesday to get in on the third batch of low-risk iBonds. Photo: Dickson Lee

Some Hongkongers hoping to buy the government's third batch of iBonds with a loan from a stockbroker rather than a bank may be out of luck, as banks have been cutting off credit to brokers in a battle for new customers.

7 Jun 2013 - 2:30am

Shrinking returns of the dim sum iBond

Citizens go to bank in Kwun Tong for the third issue of iBonds. Photo: Dickson Lee

The first government iBond series was a great investment. The one that starts taking subscription this week will probably disappoint. That's because more people are waking up to its almost-sure profit, leading to a division of the pie that will probably leave only crumbs to investors - an allotment or two of HK$10,000 each.

5 Jun 2013 - 12:47am 3 comments

Even for the Black Card, it's a bit rich of Amex to double fee

A new class of bond investors.

The American Express Centurion Card - informally known as the Black Card - recently sent out a nice letter to its users but with a sting in the tail. The Black Card is, as Forbes describes it, the Bugatti of credit cards and use is by invitation only.

30 May 2013 - 4:34am 2 comments

iBonds vie for inflation-conscious investor interest

Chan Ka-keung

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is selling another HK$10 billion of three-year iBonds to inflation-conscious residents as part of a long-term effort to promote the city's bond market and educate retail investors about it.

29 May 2013 - 6:07am

iBonds are little help in easing inflation and a bad bet financially

iBonds are little help in easing inflation and a bad bet financially

The game show here is that our government offers a three-year HK$10 billion bond issue, available in allotments of HK$10,000, which pays a coupon of the rate of consumer price inflation or a minimum of 1 per cent. Given that bank deposits over the past four years have carried interest rates averaging between zero and nothing while the CPI has averaged 3.2 per cent year over year and is at present higher and threatening to go higher yet, the iBond is obviously not a bad bet.

19 May 2013 - 3:55am

Hong Kong to snap up government offer of inflation-linked bonds

The new 'iBonds' are expected to be sold with an underlying reference rate of inflation of 3.5 per cent and raise about HK$10 billion for the government. Photo: May Tse

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority's anticipated sale of a third tranche of inflation-linked bonds is set to meet with a rich vein of demand despite a recent decline in the rate of consumer price rises.

17 May 2013 - 6:35am

You'd be crazy to ignore the great iBond giveaway

iBond coupon payments

The third round of iBonds is due to arrive in June. The HK$10 billion inflation-linked bond, issued by the Hong Kong government, is a good deal.

That fact is reflected in the first-day trading performance of the first two rounds of issuance.

The iBond issued in 2011 rose 6.7 per cent in price on day one, and the one sold last year climbed 5 per cent.

6 May 2013 - 4:34am

Longer hours don't always mean more business

Many brokers complain that the extension of trading forces them to wolf down their lunches and gives them less time to meet clients. Photo: EPA

Past extensions of stock market trading hours have failed to boost turnover. So will the six-hour extension of futures market trading from next Monday make any difference?

2 Apr 2013 - 6:57am