• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 3:46pm
MR. SHANGKONG

MR. SHANGKONG

Shanghai-born and Hong Kong-based George Chen is the Financial Editor at the South China Morning Post and a Yale World Fellow. He muses about the interplay between the two financial centres in Mr. Shangkong columns every Monday. Follow George on Twitter: @george_chen

Are Chinese banks really prepared for launch in Hong Kong?

China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC) President and CEO Levin Zhu. Photo: Reuters

It's no secret in Hong Kong's financial community that mainland banks have become the major job creators in the city, rescuing many laid-off bankers, mostly from Western banks.

Monday, 18 March, 2013, 9:03am

Shares of local dairy-makers may win as rules force consumers to shop at home

A security guard enforces the new baby formula limits at Sheung Shui in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP

The Netherlands is the latest country to limit infant formula purchases after some Dutch supermarkets found Chinese customers buying suspiciously large quantities of formula.

14 Mar 2013 - 3:43pm

HSBC's Gulliver becomes poster boy for Brobdingnagian bonuses

Stuart Gulliver. Photo: Bloomberg

HSBC just announced disappointing results for 2012, a year full of bad news for the global bank founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Despite bad results, chief executive Stuart Gulliver still secured a bonus of £1.95 million (HK$22.7 million) for last year. His total compensation came to HK$109 million, including the release of deferred bonuses from previous years. For comparison, Gulliver's total compensation in 2011 was HK$82 million.

14 Mar 2013 - 2:34pm 1 comment

China's banking regulator fumbles Shang damage control

Rumours of a corruption probe into Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, started circulating on Saturday. The CBRc issued a statement on Monday apparently intended to dispel the rumours. Photo: Xinhua

As boring and insubstantial government news releases go, the bland piece that China’s top banking regulator put on the top of its website on Monday probably ranks eight out of 10.

4 Mar 2013 - 10:51pm

A house is not a home until it becomes affordable

A house is not a home until it becomes affordable

Property prices are one of the hottest topics in Hong Kong these days. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion, although many have lost sight of the real issue.

4 Mar 2013 - 9:02am 3 comments

Investors shocked to discover fund managers' private views

When the conversation was leaked to the public, the stock market in Shanghai quickly sank. Photo: Xinhua

The past week proved to be a scandalous one for the mainland's stock market.

A private conversation about the market outlook between one of the mainland's most respected analysts and an influential fund manager was secretly recorded by a third party and then leaked to the public.

The impact? What a shock!

25 Feb 2013 - 2:49pm 2 comments

Private thoughts on the business of Xi and the next generation

Xi Jinping. Photo: AP

Despite the positive headlines you may read in the state media, a good number of these businessmen are quite worried about the country's economic prospects and their own ability to keep and grow their wealth.

18 Feb 2013 - 9:11am 2 comments

Hong Kong's small businesses and the 'fu er dai' phenomenon

People queue outside Lei Yuen, a 40-year-old noodle and congee shop in Causeway Bay which has closed because of soaring rent. Photo: May Tse

Can small business survive these days? This may be a common question in a city like Hong Kong, where the so-called "real estate monopoly" can be blamed for almost everything.

Many of the city's small and privately owned shops and restaurants, run for decades by local families, have closed in the past few years, chiefly because of fast-rising rents in busy spots.

4 Feb 2013 - 9:25am 2 comments

Short-term contracts have dangers and may not even save money

Short-term contracts have dangers and may not even save money

What can an employer do if he wants to hire more people but cannot add more permanent staff to the payroll, because of a freeze on new hires?

One option is to hire contractors rather than full-time permanent employees, a switch that is becoming more and more popular in the Hong Kong banking world.

28 Jan 2013 - 5:39am 1 comment

Teacher Guo's pearls of wisdom on how to make easy money

Guo Shuqing. Photo: Bloomberg

Who holds the most bullish view in the world about the mainland's stock market these days? My answer is Guo Shuqing, the country's top securities regulator.

21 Jan 2013 - 10:54am

Ping An as seen by the media: tip-offs, denials and rows

Ping An as seen by the media: tip-offs, denials and rows. Photo: Reuters

The past week was hectic in terms of the news coverage of HSBC's deal to sell its stake in Ping An Insurance. Much of the focus was on who the behind-the-scenes buyer was.

Today, I will try to offer a personal look at the coverage from behind the scenes.

14 Jan 2013 - 8:17am

Fashionistas' logo love affair shows big is beautiful in Hong Kong

Prada's store in Central. Photo: Bloomberg

It seems bigger is better when it comes to fashion labels and logos in Hong Kong.

You just need to do some so-called window shopping in Central to realise that Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo have got their branding down to an art form when it comes to the Asian consumer.

7 Jan 2013 - 9:04am 2 comments

Cash is a big bonus but there are other means of just reward

Will your year-end bonus be coming soon? (Photo: George Chen/SCMP)

This time of year, the annual bonus is the talk of the town. Expectations in banking circles are running high, but the talk itself is kept pretty low. That's because since the 2008 global financial crisis, rewarding bankers has become a particularly sensitive topic.

31 Dec 2012 - 8:55am

Asia's World City still has a few unique gifts, if you look hard

Also known as G.O.D., Goods of Desire is a lifestyle accessories chain store. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

With the holidays upon us, our minds turn to gift-giving and the struggle to find something appropriate.

When my friends from the mainland travel to Hong Kong, they often ask me what they should buy as souvenirs for their friends.

What they really want is something memorable that won't be found elsewhere. I always wrestle with an answer.

24 Dec 2012 - 10:23am

Hong Kong may have its own way around bankers' bonus caps

Andrew Sheng, chairman of Securities and Futures Commission. Photo: David Wong

To most people, Christmas means presents. But to the banking industry, this Christmas may be more about Scrooge than Santa, warnings than gifts.

17 Dec 2012 - 12:02pm