Dealing in futures

HONG KONG Planetary aspects indicate new growth for China and Asian markets through 'deals' with Japan, Germany and America. Regardless of their public posturing about sensitive issues, these countries happily jump onto the profit bandwagon. Hong Kong's role in thisgrowth will be dictated by agreements made between Britain and China in 1994.

From January 22 to March 6, attention is focused on a shift in employment patterns towards the service industry, a sector which Asia discovers can be quite profitable. The number of Westerners working in Hong Kong reaches a new high during this period.

The 'sandwich class' continues to feel the pinch as the cost of living continues to rise. People rush to buy over-priced flats as rumours of a 30 to 45 per cent tax increase post-1997 sweep the territory.

While people are still keen to invest, the era of overspending on luxury items seems to be over. Businesses are pulling in their belts and overhauling their management policies. As a result there may be a rash of top-level job opportunities, with big salaries on offer for the highly skilled.

Local financial firms suffer as investors become more cautious in the wake of fraud scandals. Speculation will be tempting as 1997 approaches, but will work against those seeking a fast buck. Be careful where you invest this year.

Rupert Murdoch's purchase of STAR TV last year gave an indication of the enormous potential for satellite television in Asia. Countries in the region, originally reluctant to receive satellite television, will begin to open up in summer, revolutionising the market with major deals being confirmed between July 3 and August 5. As the centre of communications in Asia, Hong Kong attracts many new people to work in the industry.

From April 14 to May 23, Hong Kong can expect a small success in dealings with China, although officials are more concerned about Deng Xiaoping's failing health. An unknown group of officials are striving for a better China and Hong Kong. These men will surface when the illness is over. There may be a major political turning point in China's attitude to Hong Kong between October 3 and December 11.

The territory suffers a period of unrest in the second half of the year. July could be a depressing time with a crime wave hitting the territory. The period between August 15 to October 5 could be particularly bad, so homes should be secured against thieves. The planets indicate a new type of police protection will be required, as the public loses confidence in old methods.

The health care situation reaches a critical state with most government agencies neglecting to improve and expand social services, such as child-care centres, mental health clinics, and clinics for the aged and the homeless.

This will be the last peaceful year in Hong Kong. Changes occur so rapidly that the upheavals cause many people, who have lost hope in the city, to move. These are expatriates who have lived here a long time and know the 'old' Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people seeking new challenges move in from around the world. These people are more interested in doing business with China and in creating unity between the mainland and Hong Kong.

From October to December, people will profit from real estate as prices continue to rise, but be very careful with any investments made during this time. A stampede for passports during this period indicates an uncertainty in the coming year in the territory.

The weakest factors in Hong Kong's astrological chart are fear of the unknown and a legacy of weak colonial leadership. But with new community plans, as well as an understanding of past mistakes, we can ensure Hong Kong's growth. The stronger we become asa unit, the more difficult it will be for others to alter our future.

THE GOVERNOR, CHRIS PATTEN May 14, 1944 Taurus IN the first three months of 1994, Mr Patten will be in the spotlight when he tables talks with China about a financial plan for Hong Kong. His plan is designed to build confidence in the territory's economic future, but it is more likely to provoke confrontation.

The toil of failed negotiations and his tendency to disregard warning signs may put Mr Patten on the operating table in April or May.

There will be some improvement in financial negotiations in August.

The worst time for the Governor will be from October to December when he is in direct confrontation with China. He needs to exercise caution because a breakdown in communication now will have major consequences and any change will only be in China's favour.

While the Governor will be watching the front door, China will be knocking at the back, seeking an early entrance in 1994 by insisting that mainland officials take up positions in both the civil service and the legislative council.

JANUARY This could be the worst month of the Governor's career. He starts the year with problems concerning the civil service and legislation. There has been little success with China over the past few months and this may lead to a confrontation between Mr Patten and British Prime Minister, John Major. The stress of the job is affecting his health and a check-up will be necessary.

FEBRUARY Mr Patten is put on the spot by a controversy over US trade demands on China. The mainland's refusal to budge on this issue will become a lasting problem for the Governor.

MARCH The Governor's troubled spirit finally has time to heal. It will be a good time for negotiations and a possible change of career. It will be a happy time and even Mr Patten's health seems to improve.

APRIL/MAY These will be dangerous months for the Governor: health problems will return and he should do as little as possible. The planets are giving him a warning, if it is not heeded he could end up on the operating table.

JUNE/JULY The Governor will finish his second year in the territory, having achieved greater personal success than in his first. He has scored so many points with the party back in London that he is now considered a worthy candidate for Prime Minister. The planet Saturn at the top of his chart indicates more success for Mr Patten in Hong Kong.

AUGUST There seems to be a financial crisis for the family in Government House. Investments which Mr Patten had banked on do not come through - perhaps he played the market.

SEPTEMBER There is a warning from China about economic agreements. Mr Patten should swallow his pride and listen - the talks will founder if he persists on having his own way, and a major change in negotiations with China could cause an economic breakdown in Hong Kong. Health problems in the stomach area are a cause for concern.

OCTOBER The planet Mars moves into Mr Patten's third house, which governs speech and negotiation, making matters worse with China. It remains there until the end of the year. A possible death or change in leadership sees someone stronger than Deng Xiaoping going head-on with the Governor. The tension of this period is reflected in the Hong Kong stock market. Mr Patten should also be prepared for some setbacks and changes in his personal life.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER The Governor ends the year wondering whether to return to Britain. His strengths lie in Britain not Hong Kong after this month. British Prime Minister John Major plays a key role in the Governor's destiny, but Mr Patten should watch out for himself. When Saturn moves from the Governor's chart, it enters the Prime Minister's 'career' house, and Mr Major could find it difficult to hold on to his position with his understudy waiting in the wings.

DENG XIAOPING THIS will not be a good year for China's patriarch Deng Xiaoping. His chart indicates major illness and possibly a sudden death. This is most likely on March 13. If he survives past this date, he will face another bout of sickness between October and December.

Gradual changes are likely in the Chinese political system, regardless of Mr Deng's health. He faces challenges at home and from Hong Kong between January and March, leaving little time for personal considerations. The controversy surrounding the Hong Kongnegotiations takes its toll on both Mr Deng and Governor Chris Patten.

The rampant capitalism in China is a major concern for Mr Deng and his communist comrades, who expend much of their energy in attempting to reap its benefits without suffering its growing pains.

JANUARY This is a very stressful time for Mr Deng. The fire planet indicates poor health and possible knee problems. He also suffers from a persistent lung problem. A major agitation is the United States' trade demands - the US is not Mr Deng's most favoured nation.

FEBRUARY Illness mars much of the month with additional problems caused by his daughter Deng Lin and another family member. Mr Deng's refusal to make business decisions is viewed unfavourably by a public hoping for change. He remains more concerned about ruling than about growth.

MARCH Heart problems mean the patriarch will have to rest. March 13 is a turning point, both economically and healthwise. His waiting game is paying off politically, but he will need a small miracle if he is to survive.

APRIL Secret reforms are formulated for China's economic policy. Mr Deng is forced to face the fact that politics and economic growth do not mix, as southern China becomes a thorn in Beijing's side.

MAY A major political change and a reshuffle in the Politburo is likely, which shifts the mainland's focus off Hong Kong.

JUNE Unhappiness looms over China. The mainland retaliates against US trade decisions but it seems unable to resolve the problem. There is a deadlock in most negotiations and Beijing becomes resentful towards Hong Kong.

JULY Healthwise, this is a dangerous month for Mr Deng. He will have problems performing his duties from now on, if he is still alive.

AUGUST Britain begins to come to some sort of agreement with China but the talks are heated. Nothing positive results, despite Mr Patten's good intentions.

SEPTEMBER Mr Deng and China make demands which Britain considers to be unreasonable. This causes further delay in the talks over Hong Kong, from which only China stands to benefit. The stalling tactics give China the opportunity to set up a new plan to be implemented in October.

OCTOBER - DECEMBER This is an unsettling period for Hong Kong as China piles on the pressure. Mr Deng cannot be found in the chart at this time, which indicates that he is either so sick he is unable to work or that he has already died.

PETER WOO September 5, 1946, Virgo Peter Woo has an exciting chart for 1994, with many challenges and new business ventures. The obstacle which has prevented him reaching his full potential during 1992 and 1993 will be lifted this year.

The fire in his chart lies in financial success, which means he is never short of funds. There are certain charts that flow smoothly in Asia but his is not one of them, so Mr Woo will have to work much harder than other Asian tycoons. In fact, Mr Woo has avery Western chart, with an emphasis on Britain, indicating he would do well there.

Mr Woo's chart shows an unsettled business house in Hong Kong - so if he is to be happy and fulfilled, he must have several projects on the boil at one time. 1994 sees him diversifying into other areas in the communications field, possibly publishing or radio.

Mr Woo's financial growth is closely tied to Hong Kong's future. However, his chart leans more towards monetary rather than political growth.

JANUARY The year begins with many challenges in the communications field. Mr Woo has problems with financing the expansion of Wharf Cable. Employees are under stress and there could be several resignations before March. Mr Woo will look to contacts in several countries for help and connections in America and Britain will respond. Perhaps he is looking in the wrong direction for growth: he should look West, not East.

FEBRUARY There is a strong interest in the Italian area in the communications business, possibly in connection with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. This will be an exciting month for business.

MARCH This will be a period of acquisition and serious negotiations. Mr Woo could be looking to expand his communications network, possibly by venturing into radio. Deals with China could prove unsuccessful since his chart is not as influential in Asia as it is in the West.

APRIL/MAY Most of this period will be spent completing deals and on business travel. The planets throw more challenges his way than he can handle. But some of the changes afoot should offer solutions.

JUNE/JULY Mr Woo can expect positive changes in his communications business, including a new venture which is well-received in other countries. Something he has planned goes very well.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER Over-estimation on Mr Woo's part results in the failure of a major project. There is little he can do to save it and the losses are greater than expected. But another offer comes from the US, which he should seriously consider.

OCTOBER/DECEMBER Balance is the key during this period when business takes a turn for the worse. There will be great losses. China plays a major role.

HONG KONG STOCK MARKET The excitement and atmosphere of volatility seen in 1993 should continue until major planetary changes occur in February.

The market was established under a fire sign - Aries/Libra - with the ascendant sign of Capricorn. Based on a powerful need to fight back and win at all times, the market falls under the same sign as the British, and is also heavily influenced by Germany.

What is interesting about this market is the volume of money which it attracts, creating an illusion of solidity but often resulting in great losses. Its strength lies in the ability of its key players - Britain, China and Japan - to move funds from other countries. This causes great surges and profits in the short term, but there is little honesty in this market and it loses far more than it makes.

Investment in March could be dangerous as the movement of the planets causes the market to slide. But it will be business as usual in April, when the market makes a strong recovery. May and June are stable, although the market is not as bullish as in the previous month. In July, a warning relating to investments in foreign currencies should be heeded. August and September are good months for investment, but be quick: political turmoil during October, November and December will adversely affect the market.