McGregor quits bank post
VETERAN legislator Jimmy McGregor has resigned as a director of the Hongkong Chinese Bank (HKCB) because of his pro-democracy beliefs.
''I'm a kind of political casualty,'' he said. ''There are going to be a lot of other people in this situation.'' Mr McGregor's resignation was accepted on Friday, following the emergence of mainland-owned China Resources as a 50 per cent stake-holder in HKCB.
''With the bank about to expand in China, and given my known support for [Governor Chris] Patten, I felt honour-bound to offer my resignation,'' he said.
The Hongkong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) representative in Legco insisted he was not bitter about the move. ''I've no hard feelings towards either China Resources or the Hongkong Chinese Bank.'' But the outspoken advocate of democracy regretted the debate over constitutional development had polarised political opinions, forcing liberal businessmen such as himself into such situations.
''It is sad events took this course and made me feel it necessary to take such action,'' Mr McGregor said.
He said he had always maintained good relations with China, but noticed Hongkong and Macau Affairs Office director Lu Ping had treated him coolly during a recent HKGCC visit to Beijing.
Mr McGregor was one of five directors who stepped down, making way for a team from China Resources, the trading arm of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The other 50 per cent is held by the Lippo Group, through HKCB Holding. Mr McGregor remains on HKCB Holding and as chairman of Asia Securities.