Market Economy

Hong Kong planners must cater to noodle shops amid unsavoury rent rises

People queue outside Lei Yuen. Photo: May Tse

There is nothing quite like the great wonton and noodle shops in Hong Kong. They are not fancy places, but have been in the same location for ages - beloved local institutions with lifetime customers. But, in the past few months, several historic noodle shops and cafes have closed due to rising rents.

Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 2:40am 4 comments

Recession, high property prices not signs of market failure

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah attends a news conference after delivering his budget speech. Photo: David Wong

Live and learn. When I was in school, I learned in physics that there can only be one pivot in any pivotal operation, and I learned in economics that the pivot of market operations is price.

28 Feb 2013 - 5:02am 6 comments

China must avoid creating more problems with action on overcapacity

China's renewable energy sector, such as wind farms, has been overpromoted by the government. Photo: Xinhua

At the Central Economic Work Conference late last year, overcapacity was highlighted as a problem prioritised for action this year. So, just before the Lunar New Year, 12 ministries and state commissions jointly rolled out a plan to push for mergers in key industries including carmaking, steel, cement, shipbuilding, aluminium, rare earths, electronics, pharmaceuticals and industrialised agriculture.

28 Feb 2013 - 3:37am

Best days of the free market are over

Best days of the free market are over

The free market has been a wonder of our age. Its ideas have been like some remarkable scientific breakthrough that transformed the world. The free market propelled America and the West to global economic dominance, and allowed hundreds of millions of people in China and elsewhere to prosper. It won the 20th century.

12 Feb 2013 - 2:45am 8 comments

Political wisdom, not infant formula, in short supply in Hong Kong

People transporting boxes filled with baby formula queue up to get their package weighted at the Sheung Shui train station prior to their journey back to mainland China. Photo: AFP

We often see people trying to divert attention from their inadequacies by stirring up trouble and using conflicts and setbacks to their advantage. The baby formula shortage in Hong Kong is a classic example of this.

8 Feb 2013 - 3:25am 2 comments

New Hong Kong property tax, a sign of increasing protectionism

City Garden, a local apartment complex in North Point (Photo: George Chen/SCMP)

The new stamp duty policy announced last Friday for non-local home buyers in Hong Kong is more than a new property rule as it puts the government on the fast track to greater regulation in a city that has been ranked as the world’s freest economy by the Heritage Foundation for 18 consecutive years.

30 Oct 2012 - 10:06am 5 comments

Do we need to make property prices 'politically correct'?

Hong Kong Victoria Harbour. Photo: George Chen/SCMP

I am not a property industry expert but as a writer and reader, honestly speaking, I can tell nowadays in both Hong Kong and Mainland China, anything related to property prices has become more and more a political issue than simply a supply-and-demand market matter.

23 Oct 2012 - 3:28pm

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-joon Chang Allen Lane, HK$255

26 Sep 2010 - 12:00am

Wen warns of huge challenges for China

Premier Wen Jiabao said 2010 would be the most complex year yet this century for the mainland economy, and pledged to prevent inflation and rein in skyrocketing property prices, in an online chat yesterday with internet users.

He also addressed concerns over trade frictions with the US, and called for efforts to ease tensions.

28 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

Ringing the changes

Recently, I awoke to find my phone line had been cut off. The recording at the other end said I had not paid my bill, and the line would only be reconnected once I did.

1 Dec 2003 - 12:00am

Striking a blow for the free market

The Consumer Council released its study on the competitiveness of the private residential property market last Thursday and concluded that it is not competitive and not contestable. According to the report, this is mainly due to the market's uniqueness.

18 Jul 1996 - 12:00am

Property market must be open to all sectors

IT is sometimes argued that China's budding property rights market, which is a far cry from being properly regulated, should be limited to private enterprise.

While it sounds as if it will protect public assets, it will in fact be of no help.

5 Dec 1994 - 12:00am

Breakthrough on price reforms sought

CHINA is seeking a breakthrough in politically-sensitive price reforms in three to five years, according to the official New China News Agency (NCNA).

The NCNA said economists generally believed that reform of the prices of general commodities had gone smoothly.

''Now it is the time to tackle the most difficult part of price reform,'' it said.

26 Jun 1993 - 12:00am