Hysan Development Co chairman and managing director Lee Hon-chiu seems assured of becoming the new chairman of the stock exchange when members of the exchange council meet today. Sources said Mr Lee, 68, is expected to be elected unopposed with the meeting a mere formality. 'I think it will be a one-horse race,' a council member said. 'I think it is very clear he already has the position in his keeping,' the council member added. The two leading candidates for the two vice-chairmen positions - John Seto Gin-chung of Wardley Securities (Hong Kong) and Stephen Hui of OSK Asia Holdings - are also likely to be elected unopposed. The new chairman and vice-chairmen will be elected by the exchange's 31 council members, including the 10 broker members who were elected to the council on Friday. The election for the three positions will take place at the exchange at 8 am and is expected to be over relatively swiftly. 'We should have time for a good breakfast after that and still be finished before the market opens at 10 am,' the council member said. The new chairman will take over the reins from outgoing chairman Edgar Cheng Wai-kin who stepped down on Friday. Mr Cheng had been elected the maximum allowable two times. Mr Lee, who is running as an independent, has long been considered a safe bet for the chairmanship as he has attracted support from a broad base of council members. The Government has also been a strong supporter of Mr Lee, and repeatedly requested him to run for the job when it became clear that the other Government choice, Great Eagle Holdings chairman Lo Ka-shui would not stand. Mr Lee was appointed by former Governor Chris Patten to the exchange's ruling council in 1994. Apart from his position at Hysan Development, he is also a director of Cathay Pacific Airways, Hang Seng Bank, Hong Kong and China Gas, Ryoden Development, Sime Darby Hong Kong and Maersk Hong Kong. Mr Lee also holds directorships in a number of other local companies. Mr Lee received a bachelor of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952, and a master of science degree from Stanford University.