The government's purchase of a 5.88 per cent stake in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has led to numerous theories about what was behind the controversial move. They have ranged from the government wanting to get rid of its opponents on the HKEx board to fending off a hostile foreign takeover. But the big question is whether the government will be happy with such a small holding. White Collar believes not and won't be surprised if the government keeps buying shares until HKEx becomes a fully owned government entity. If we accept Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's word, the motive behind the purchase was to establish closer links with mainland exchanges and pave the way for possible share swaps with bourses in Shenzhen and Shanghai. Both are now wholly owned by the state, so, if the Hong Kong government did not have shares in HKEx, it would not be able to perform such a swap. HKEx chairman Ronald Arculli has called for a single China market so that the three stock exchanges can compete with bourses in New York, London and Tokyo. Let's say we believe all these things and that a combined China market would benefit both Hong Kong and the mainland. Why would the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges bother to swap only 5.88 per cent of HKEx? It would not have any influence or impact. Some market participants don't buy the share-swap theory and believe the government is simply trying to gain control to prevent the HKEx from becoming a takeover target. Even if we believe this theory, the government will still need to buy more HKEx shares; a 5.88 per cent stake is still far short of absolute control. Whatever happens, HKEx investors are happy for the moment. The exchange's shares have gained 18 per cent since the government announced its holding. For brokerages such as Sun Hung Kai Financial and Chow Sang Sang Securities, which received shares at the time of the bourse's demutualisation and listing in 2000, it is boon. Forum of heavy hitters The Asian Financial Forum, the government's answer to the World Economic Forum, will be held this coming Friday in the Convention Centre in Wan Chai and some heavy hitters have been lined up. People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan is among the three keynote speakers at the forum. Other speakers include International Monetary Fund counsellor Jamie Caruana, and chairman of Citigroup's international advisory board and former World Bank president James Wolfensohn. Lost and found Imagine the difficulties you would face if you lost your credit card while travelling overseas. Howard Davidson, managing director of CPP Asia and our podcast guest this week, talks about his company's emergency service for customers who lose their credit cards or other non-financial cards. 'Ten or twenty years ago, it was not popular for Asians to hold a lot of credit cards. Nowadays, card payment is so popular that one would easily have three to four credit cards on hand. This provides opportunities for our business,' Mr Davidson said.