The Financial Times launched its Hong Kong satellite printing operation yesterday, looking to increase its worldwide presence as a leading international business newspaper. Richard Lambert, editor for the London-based paper, said about 8,000 copies would be printed daily by Ming Pao Holdings and distributed throughout the region, excluding Japan and South Korea. Previously, 1,500 copies of the paper were air-freighted to Hong Kong from Japan, which will now supply only South Korea. Mr Lambert, who was in Hong Kong for the launch, said the management decided two years ago to increase its international operations. In the past year, the Financial Times has opened satellite operations in Los Angeles, Sweden and Spain. Hong Kong is its eighth. 'What we have done is re-designed and re-shaped the international edition to make it less UK-focused and have a broader spread of international news,' Mr Lambert said. 'We looked at the map and identified the cities where we thought there was a significant mass of potential readers and Hong Kong was one of those. Our idea is that we can create in these cities a useful market that will go together to make us into a leading international business newspaper.' Mr Lambert said the editorial content of the Financial Times would differ from its competitor, the Asian Wall Street Journal, which has a regional circulation of 51,000. 'Our strategy is unlike the Wall Street Journal, which has produced three very different issues [in Asia, the United States and Europe]. We make modest changes to our international edition to make it relevant to the local markets,' he said. 'We are not going to produce an Asian edition like they have done. We are going to be an international newspaper with a strong Asian content.' The paper sells locally for $20. Mr Lambert said he was unsure whether the Hong Kong operation would pick up immediately. 'What we find is we start off in a modest way and we build up over time - we're here for the long haul. From our experience with our other operations, we have a modest start-up cost before our sales build up significantly,' he said. 'For the newspaper as a whole, 75 to 80 per cent of our revenue comes from advertising. What we are hoping is advertisers will see our growth in Asia as an attractive medium to advertise both regionally and internationally.'