• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:41am

Market intervention

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.

Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 3:37am

Hong Kong needs clarification of commercial property plans

Hong Kong needs clarification of commercial property plans. Photo: Bloomberg

In a report following measures in October last year, CBRE highlighted that "while the aim of the latest measures is to curb speculative activity in the residential market, some investors may now turn their attention to commercial property. As such, we expect to see a rise in investor demand for strata-titled offices and industrial units given their relatively digestible lot sizes for private investors and ease of management".

27 Feb 2013 - 5:04am

New curbs likely to hit industrial, retail sales hardest

A property agent (left) speaking to prospective buyers of commercial shops in Great George Street, Causeway Bay. Photo: Dickson Lee

As a measure of speculative deals in the sector, data from property broker Midland IC&I show that 1,276 confirmor sales were transacted in the industrial property market last year. Confirmor sales are deals in which a property is resold before the original transaction is completed.

27 Feb 2013 - 5:04am

Sale of hotel rooms shows the limits of government intervention

Property agents and buyers gather at the sales office of Apex Horizon hotel in Hung Hom as Cheung Kong Holdings sells more unit of the hotel. Photo: David Wong

It comes down to supply and demand. The hefty 15 per cent stamp duty imposed on non-local buyers, which was put in place last year to curb speculation, has discouraged a number of buyers. But no government can outlaw intentions.

25 Feb 2013 - 2:52am

Demand for flats falls by half in wake of stamp duty rises

Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, Executive Council member and chairman of Urban Renewal Authority. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Developers hoping to complete sales programmes looked for ways to fight the impact of sharp increases in stamp duties. They increased the commission for agents - some of whom were passing on the increase to buyers to make up for the extra duty they will pay.

24 Feb 2013 - 5:02am 8 comments

Latest property market curbs welcome, but vigilance still needed

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah. Photo: Dickson Lee

When Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah intervenes in the property market he leaves a calling card threatening to return. Once again an increasing flood of hot money has forced him to make good on his promise to do what it takes to head off a property bubble. His latest cooling measures are both necessary and appropriate. 

24 Feb 2013 - 1:50am 1 comment

Singapore home sales rise 43pc in wake of cooling action

Singapore has been attempting to rein in home prices since 2009.

Singapore home prices reached a record high in the fourth quarter amid low interest rates, raising concerns of a housing bubble and prompting the government to introduce its seventh round of cooling measures.

20 Feb 2013 - 4:40am

Beijing property prices rising sharply beyond reach of some buyers

China must roll out new measures to combat speculative housing demand as risks of a home price rebound rise. Photo: Reuters

Data from the China Index Academy, a unit of SouFun holdings, China's biggest real estate website operator, shows that the average price of a new home in 100 major cities recorded an eight successive month-on-month rise in January, to 9,812 yuan per square metre. That represented an increase of 0.03 per cent from December and on a year-on-year basis prices were up 1.2 per cent - the first annualised rise in prices in nine months.

6 Feb 2013 - 4:59am

Briefs, February 3, 2013

More than 50 people have been killed on mainland roads in four major accidents since Friday, as hundreds of millions journey home for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

3 Feb 2013 - 6:19am

Mainland housing boom continues

Analysts say mainland home-seekers have been returning to the property market in anticipation of a better outlook. Photo: AP

More mainland cities saw home prices rise last month, leading to concerns there could be further government measures to cool the housing market.

Prices climbed in the most cities in 20 months with 54 of the 70 cities reporting price gains, according to data tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics. This compared with 53 in November.

19 Jan 2013 - 5:12am

Premier-to-be Li Keqiang calls for opening up of domestic markets

Li Keqiang (right) presiding at the forum. Photo: Xinhua

Premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang has called on provincial leaders to break down internal market-access barriers during his first local inspection trip since becoming the Communist Party's No 2.

30 Dec 2012 - 5:24am

Pricing move puts spark into power shares

Power prices will track coal costs more closely. Photo: Reuters

Shares in mainland power and coal producers gained after Beijing's announcement of a new power and coal price linkage mechanism that frees coal prices from state intervention and lets power prices track coal price movements more closely.

28 Dec 2012 - 4:14am

Investing for abnormal times

Investors must adjust their tactics in these abnormal times. Photo: EPA

The US stock market is close to all-time highs. Interest rate cuts and the demand for yield have generated strong returns in bonds.

Greek bonds recently doubled in "value" from around 13 per cent of face value to the high 20s, although they have fallen back a little.

12 Nov 2012 - 3:19am

The Week Explained: Unintended Consequences

Cooling the housing market heats up commercial speculation. Photo: AFP

At best the new government plan to cool housing prices has only a small chance of success. But for those of us at the battered end of the small and medium enterprise spectrum, it is not only a failure but one that is producing damaging effects.

This is because the iron rule of unintended consequences has already kicked in.

12 Nov 2012 - 2:31am

Tsang defends market-intervention, old-age allowance policies

Financial Secretary John Tsang. Photo: Felix Wong

The government is using market-intervention policies only as temporary measures to restore “balance” to weak sectors, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said on Wednesday morning.

7 Nov 2012 - 1:09pm 1 comment