Hong Kong - EU chamber lobbies China to walk the talk on market liberalisation

Hong Kong is a special administrative region on the southeastern coast of China. It became a British colony in 1842 after the first Opium War and was returned to China in 1997. Today, it is known for its vibrant economy, unique cultural heritage, and beautiful scenery.


Hong Kong’s history can be traced back to the Neolithic era, but the city really began to take shape when the British Empire occupied it in 1842. The island served as a key trade hub between China and the rest of the world, which allowed Hong Kong to flourish and grow into the bustling metropolis it is today.

In the years that followed, Hong Kong became home to a diverse population of immigrants from all over the world. Chinese, British, Indian, and many other cultures mixed and blended together, creating a unique melting pot of cultures, food, and languages.

After World War II, Hong Kong underwent a period of rapid economic growth and modernization, becoming a leading center of international trade and finance. Despite its return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has kept its former British colonial influences while integrating Chinese political and economic systems.


Hong Kong is located on the southeastern coast of China and consists of three main regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. The city is bordered by the South China Sea to the east and the mountains to the north.

Hong Kong Island is the center of the city and home to the central business district, Victoria Peak, and many of the city’s historic landmarks such as the Man Mo Temple and Hong Kong Museum of History.

Kowloon is located on the mainland across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. It is known for its bustling streets and markets, including the famous Temple Street Night Market.

The New Territories are the northernmost part of Hong Kong and include many rural areas, traditional villages, and scenic landscapes. Lantau Island, the largest of Hong Kong’s islands, is located here and home to the famous Tian Tan Buddha statue and Hong Kong Disneyland.


Hong Kong’s culture is diverse and rich, with influences from China, Britain, and other countries. Cantonese is the most widely spoken language, but English remains an important language for business and tourism.

Food is a major part of Hong Kong’s culture, with Cantonese cuisine being the most prevalent. Dim sum and roast meats are popular, as well as street food such as fish balls and egg waffles.

Hong Kong also has a strong arts and entertainment scene, with its own film industry and thriving music and theatre industries. The city is home to many museums, art galleries, and cultural landmarks such as the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the historic Tai Kwun arts center.


Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination for its unique blend of Chinese and Western cultures, stunning skylines, and outdoor activities. Visitors can explore the city’s many historic landmarks, take a ride on the famous Star Ferry, and enjoy panoramic views from Victoria Peak.

Disneyland and Ocean Park are two popular theme parks in Hong Kong, while Lantau Island and Hong Kong’s many nature reserves offer opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting.

Shopping is also a popular activity in Hong Kong, with everything from street markets to high-end luxury boutiques to choose from. Central, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui are three of the city’s main shopping areas.


Hong Kong is a unique city that combines Chinese and Western influence, diversity, and modernity. Its rich cultural heritage, world-class cuisine, and stunning landscape attract visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re looking to explore its historic landmarks, take in its natural beauty, or experience its thriving arts scene, Hong Kong has something for everyone.

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Thai pro-democracy groups dominate vote in rebuke of military

Japan Times

23-05-15 02:44

Pro-democracy parties in Thailand are likely to form a coalition after gaining a majority of seats in parliamentary elections, marking the first real challenge to the monarchy since the military took power in 2014. With most of the votes counted, the Move Forward party, which seeks to change the laws that ban criticism of the king, led the national vote. The results also suggested a high turnout despite pre-election threats and intimidation from authorities. The ruling junta may try to subvert the result, but protesters have already taken to the streets to celebrate.

Hong Kong stocks fluctuate as China’s central bank injects more liquidity

South China Morning Post

23-05-15 02:36

Hong Kong stocks were largely unchanged on Tuesday morning after the Chinese central bank injected liquidity into the financial system to boost economic growth. The Hang Seng was up 0.2% to 19,658.09 at 10.13am local time, while the Tech Index remained steady and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1%. Firms including Tencent Holdings and Meituan rose, while JD.com fell. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose by 0.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.2%.

Northbound Swap Connect: China opens derivatives market to global trade

South China Morning Post

23-05-15 02:02

China launched the Swap Connect program on Monday, opening its interbank financial derivatives market to global investors, allowing them to hedge yuan interest rate risks for the RMB3.2tn ($460bn) Chinese bond holdings. It follows various range of connect programs launched in stocks, bonds, ETFs and wealth management over the past nine years. Within minutes of the launch, traders concluded 37 transactions worth CNY1.8bn. Hong Kong's three note-issuing banks are among the lenders taking part in the northbound trading of Swap Connect. The daily trading quota of Swap Connect is initially set at CNY20bn.

‘Genuinely worried’: US dollar woes fuel gold rush in Hong Kong, Singapore

South China Morning Post

23-05-15 01:30

Gold is becoming increasingly popular among investors in Singapore and Hong Kong as they search for safe havens to store money since the recent banking turmoil in the United States. Trade volumes have surged in the Asian trading hubs, with gold now being viewed more as a currency than a commodity. Hong Kong-based Precious Metals Asia reported that gold turnover in April increased by 40% since March and 110% since January. One of its founders, Padraig Seif, said investors were worried that keeping their money in low-yield deposit accounts would erode the long-term value of their savings. Gold has risen by 13% since March amid signals of a US economic slowdown, and fears of a potential credit crunch as a US debt default looms as the White House and Congress have been unable to reach agreement over raising the government's $31.4tn borrowing limit.

Shares jump in Chinese state enterprises as investors seek high yield

Financial Times

23-05-15 01:19

Investors looking for a haven from economic volatility in China are buying up shares in state-run enterprises as they report better returns than their government bond market. With Chinese banks paying out an annual dividend of around 6% to 7% compared to 10-year Chinese government debt, which pushed yields below 3%, this has caused a rare rally in the country's state-run bank shares with shares in Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China up more than 20% and 10%, respectively since April. Some analysts said the rally reflects a hunt for higher dividend yield by "absolute return" funds.

Warren Buffett’s company recommits to Bank of America stock while dumping other banks

Associated Press

23-05-15 22:41

Berkshire Hathaway has sold stakes in US Bancorp and Bank of New York Mellon and increased its stake in Bank of America. It purchased almost 10 million shares of Capital One's stock in Q1 2021, according to an SEC filing. Although the filing didn't specify which investments were made by Warren Buffett and which were made by subordinates Todd Combs and Ted Weschler,​ Buffett generally only invests in large deals worth more than $1bn. The firm also bought 17.4 million shares of Occidental Petroleum stock during the quarter to bring its stake to almost 24%.

Too much demand, not enough supply. Global airfares set to stay sky high into 2024

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 06:00

Air travel is becoming more expensive post-pandemic, with most regions affected. The Asia-Pacific area has seen the highest prices increases - up to 33% more than in 2019. Europe has seen a 12% increase, while North America is at 17%. The closure of airspaces, labor shortages, and rising fuel costs are all affecting the supply of seats and contributing to the price increases.

However, the demand for international travel is strong, so travelers on the higher end of the income spectrum are paying for the higher prices. Domestic tourism revenues have also jumped in China, surpassing pre-pandemic levels to 101% during a recent holiday period. China’s theme parks are also said to be bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels as pent-up travel demand sparks a tourism boom.

International airlines saw a plunge of just 12.4% in passenger numbers in Q1 of 2023 compared to Q1 of 2019, due to lingering concerns over Covid-19 and tensions with the US and Europe. Chinese island Hainan saw a return of interest in its high-end consumption market, with foreign brands flocking to catch the post-Covid economic recovery.


Hong Kong leader says public libraries must ensure books don't violate laws


23-05-16 04:50

Hong Kong's chief executive, John Lee, has defended the removal of books and videos related to China's Tiananmen Square crackdown from public libraries. Lee stated that public libraries needed to ensure that books don't violate local laws, including copyrights, and shouldn't spread messages that aren't in the interests of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has curbed individual liberties under China-imposed national security law in recent years. Since 2020, more than 40% of books and videos involving political themes have been removed from public libraries, according to reports. The national security law has been criticised as a tool of repression by some western countries including the United States.

Should UK boards take Apollo seriously?

Financial Times

23-05-16 04:35

Apollo Global has developed a reputation in the UK for abandoning deals at the eleventh hour. That has only been underscored after the US investment giant saw two possible take-privates collapse in the past four days. On Monday, Apollo said it wouldn’t follow through with its offer for UK oil engineering company Wood Group, causing the company’s share price to fall by more than a third. Taking publicly traded UK companies private has proven a lucrative source of deal flow for some of Wall Street’s biggest names in recent years. But Apollo hasn’t capitalised on the trend. Instead, the Wood Group and THG represent Apollo’s latest failed efforts to buy UK companies. The $598bn investment firm has also failed to follow through on deals for publisher Pearson, gambling company William Hill and packaging business RPC Group.

Dawn Davis’s gastronomic guide to New York

Financial Times

23-05-16 04:33

The return of culture in New York City after the pandemic means that friends from out of town can take advantage of the city’s rich offerings. FT Globetrotter recommends several favourite restaurants, from upscale and theatrical to cosy neighbourhood places, and quick bites on the fly. To showcase the city after going to the theatre, the author visits The Noortwyck where Eleven Madison Park alums in the kitchen can deliver fluke crudo, kale salad, and the striped bass or the pasta with a wine list that always satisfies. For theatricality, Frevo offers an intimate 16-seat chef’s counter located behind a false door in a street-level art gallery. Chef Markus Glocker’s Koloman in the Ace Hotel offers imaginative and satisfying dishes including a celeriac tartare with an herby, cheesy mustard. Lastly, The Nines provides old-school theatricality with a mesmerising and soulful piano player/vocalist adding to the glamorous vibe, and Madman Espresso recalls an Italian bar with De Sica focaccia sandwiches and cauliflower pizza.

12,000 Ocean Park tickets for Hong Kong families thanking helpers

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 04:09

Hong Kong businesses and the public are being be encouraged to express gratitude to domestic helpers with a campaign that will offer theme park passes to some 3,000 families. The Labour Department’s Happy Hong Kong campaign, launched to boost local morale, will give out as many as 12,000 tickets to Ocean Park as part of a Thankful Week for Families with Foreign Domestic Helpers celebration. Households are invited to submit videos of up to half a minute thanking their helpers and will be entered into a prize draw for the tickets.

Baidu charts an AI future after posting better-than-expected earnings

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 09:49

China's biggest search engine and AI innovator, Baidu, has released its Q1 results and beat revenue estimates by posting $4.5bn. Its net income reached ¥5.8bn for the period, compared to the first quarter of last year which made a loss of ¥885m. Although advertising accounted for the largest chunk of its sales revenue, Baidu has expressed that its future lies within AI and has developed its Ernie Bot to break into the market for AI-powered chatbots. Its competitors, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, are also developing similar technologies to ChatGPT.

European stocks stumble as rate concerns return

Financial Times

23-05-16 09:20

European stocks fell at the start of trading on 18 May after the European Commission raised its EU-wide consumer price inflation forecast to 6.7% for this year, higher than previous estimates of 6.4%, adding to fears that interest rates will remain high. The eurozone economy is also expected to have stagnated at 1.3% year on year in first quarter 2023, according to Reuters. A host of investor caution will be exacerbated by the release of US retail sales data for April, as emerging markets continue to struggle amid a paradigm shift in global markets.

Sweden's Essity kicks off sale of majority stake in Hong Kong's Vinda - sources


23-05-16 09:18

Sweden's Essity has launched the sale of its 52% stake in Hong Kong-listed Vinda International, valued at $1.7bn, according to two sources. Bank of America, Essity's adviser on the sale, has approached a number of private equity funds, said insiders. One source said Essity's reduction in its stake in Vinda, which makes tissues and diapers, could trigger a buyout of the entire company. First-round non-binding bids will be submitted by June end. An Essity spokesperson said last month that the company had started reviewing its Vinda holding.

South Korea soccer international Son Jun-ho detained in China on suspicion of taking bribe

The Toronto Star

23-05-16 08:52

South Korean midfielder Son Jun-ho, who played for the Shandong Taishan team in China's football league, has been detained in Liaoning province on suspicion of accepting a bribe. The allegations are understood to be linked to match-fixing concerning coach Hao Wei, and the bribery also involves other individuals in China's football scene. Despite the government investing extensively to make China a football superpower, the league has struggled for years to address its reputation for corruption, and teams are currently in dire financial straits, making them more vulnerable to corrupt practices.

Singapore to host 7-day festival of football as world’s best teams head to Asia

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 08:46

Asia is set to receive a host of pre-season football friendlies this summer, although premier side matches will bypass Hong Kong. Leading teams such as Liverpool, Roma, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and others will play in matches across Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok instead. Standard Chartered Bank will host a week-long festival of games, featuring Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and Leicester City at the National Stadium in Singapore. British and European-based sides Tottenham Hotspur, Celtic and Barcelona will also play in Asia as part of the festival.

2,000-strong mainland China tour group from e-commerce company hits Hong Kong

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 12:22

Hong Kong Tourism Board and travel agency representatives have greeted 2,000 yearning mainland Chinese visitors. Members of the group claimed their trip, which Yobesta organised to help them “recharge, cultivate themselves and improve themselves”, contained traditional Cantonese cuisine, shopping opportunities and a four-hour business conference, featuring speeches, expert talks and a contract signing ceremony. The visitors arrived on Tuesday via the Heung Yuen Wai Control point and will spend the remainder of their tour in hotels before a visit to Macau.

Futu and UP Fintech take down trading apps in China to meet CSRC requirements

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 12:19

Futu Holdings and UP Fintech Holding are set to remove their trading apps, Futubull and Tiger International respectively, from app stores in China this week following a crackdown by the country's securities regulator. The China Securities and Regulatory Commission order, issued in December, asked the firms to stop allowing new domestic investors access to global equities, in contravention of Beijing's capital controls. The two online brokers allowed Chinese investors to transact in offshore equities and were “deemed to have operated illegally” by the regulator, Futu and Tiger said.

Hong Kong woman falls to death while cleaning 18th floor window

The Independent

23-05-16 12:06

A domestic worker in Hong Kong has died after falling from the 18th floor of a building while cleaning windows. Reports implied that the woman may have lost her balance. Cleaners are not permitted by law in Hong Kong to clean windows beyond ground level without a safety grille. The legislation was introduced in 2017 following a spate of falls. Police have launched an investigation into the death.