HSBC likely to see substantial fall in profit
HSBC is expected to report a significant decline in pre-tax profit for the second quarter from the same period last year.
Eleven analysts, on average, estimated the bank’s pre-tax profit would fall 26.7 per cent to US$6.16 billion, a Bloomberg survey found. The banking giant will post its interim results today after the market closes.
Market participants said they were looking for indications of asset quality health in emerging markets – which showed signs of deterioration at rival Standard Chartered – and progress in cost cutting and revenue generation.
A marked turnaround in its businesses in Europe and North America helped HSBC to post significantly higher results in the first quarter.
Posted by admin on August 5, 2013
Hong Kong banks’ marketing of FX-linked structured products sparks concern
If you walk into a bank you may spot signs in the teller queue displaying attractive deposit rates in a foreign currency.
If you ask about them, you’ll be whisked off to a special room to talk to an investment adviser, who will introduce you to an investment that is commonly sold in Hong Kong: the currency-linked deposit.
Make no mistake, these instruments are big business. A 2012 study by the Securities and Futures Commission found that currency-linked instruments comprised 65 per cent of all structured products sold to the public. That translates into annual sales of about HK$380 billion – and that excludes sales by banks.
Posted by admin on July 31, 2013
Former Mizuho Credit Trading Head Plans Own Hong Kong Hedge Fund
Jeffrey Yap, former head of Asian fixed-income trading at a unit of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411), plans to start his own credit-focused hedge fund in Hong Kong.
Yap, who worked for Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. until May, will be joined at Ark One Ltd. by two other founding partners he declined to identify. They plan to open the fund to investors in mid-August, pending license approval by the city’s Securities and Futures Commission, he said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday.
Yap is the latest credit trader to start a fund amid record debt sales in the region spurred by lowinterest rates and yield premiums for risky borrowers, combined with regulatory relaxation. Equity hedge funds still account for 71 percent of regional industry assets, compared to 27 percent globally, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc.
Posted by admin on July 31, 2013
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Tightens Controls Over Sales Of ILAS Products
Hong Kong regulators have tightened regulatory controls over the sale of Investment-Linked Assurance Schemes (ILAS) by imposing further requirements including commission disclosure, Key Facts Statement and customer’s declaration, as well as post-sale controls. These new requirements are aimed at enhancing customers’ understanding of the risks and features of ILAS in an attempt to better protect customers.
ILAS – the Good and the Bad
ILAS products are life insurance policies with an investment component. As the policyholder, the premiums paid are used by the insurer to invest in a number of different funds. The value of the insurance policy (including Death Benefit) is linked to the performance of the underlying funds and may fluctuate depending on market conditions. The attraction of such products is that they give customers access to a wide range of funds, as well as the flexibility of switching funds without incurring charges of the fund houses. However, the policyholder has no rights or ownership over the underlying funds and his only recourse is against the insurer.
Posted by admin on July 26, 2013
Hong Kong must not go soft on insider trading
Robert Boxwell says Hong Kong’s efforts to beat insider trading cannot slacken at a time when it’s especially important that markets are seen to be fair, and authorities must push hard for criminal prosecutions
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission released its 2012-2013 annual report last month. It opens with a well-crafted piece about the benefits of “quality” regulation and “sustainable” markets, which generally sounds consistent with news stories about the new, tougher SFC. But the tables at the end of the report tell a story that financial crooks won’t miss: criminal prosecutions for insider trading have dwindled. The SFC won exactly one new criminal insider trading conviction last year.
Posted by admin on July 22, 2013
Hong Kong on Track to Regain IPO Sizzle
Hong Kong is on its way to regain its position as one of the world’s hottest initial public offering (IPO) markets this year after hitting a four-year slump in 2012, according to data from consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
A revival in Hong Kong’s IPO market in the first-half of the year in terms of fundraising size despite nine fewer listings compared to the same period last year shows “fundamentally” strong demand, PwC said.
“IPO activity in terms of fundraising size reached HK$39.5 billion ($5.09 billion) in the first half of 2013, an increase of 28 percent from the first half of 2012,” PwC said in a note on Tuesday. “This clearly illustrates that despite a decrease in the number of IPOs, there is a strong appetite for new listings with the average size of fundraising stepping up significantly.”
Posted by admin on July 3, 2013
Asian Stocks Headed for Biggest Monthly Loss in a Year
Asian stocks declined, with the benchmark regional index heading toward the worst monthly loss in a year, as Chinese stocks entered a bear market amid a cash crunch at banks in the world’s second-largest economy.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender, lost 3 percent in Hong Kong, having risen just one day in June. BHP Billiton Ltd., the No. 1 mining company, declined 3.4 percent, as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its growth forecast for China. AMP Ltd. tumbled 13 percent, its biggest slide in 10 years, after Australia’s largest life insurer said it expects profit to fall as much as 16 percent.
Posted by admin on June 25, 2013
Aust shares finish lower on Asia slide
The Australian share market has finished lower, dragged down as nervous investors take their leads from falls across major Asian markets.
Despite small gains in early trade, Australian shares closed about 0.3 per cent lower as the Shanghai Composite, Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indices moved into the red.
Shares in China were down 1.19 per cent when the local market closed.
CMC Markets sales trader Betty Lam said the Chinese markets had been “brought to their knees”.
Posted by admin on June 25, 2013
Hong Kong has the tools to be a leading knowledge economy
Alan Lung says Hong Kong has all the necessary tools to become a leading 21st-century knowledge economy. All that’s lacking is the imagination to strike out, and the realisation that it’s possible.
While there is a general consensus that Hong Kong needs to diversify from its heavy reliance on financial services and property, more discussion is needed on how to move forward. Certainly, there is no lack of entrepreneurism here.
Posted by admin on June 24, 2013
Bank Secrecy, Hong Kong Rate Probe, OCC Scrutiny: Compliance
Group of Eight leaders agreed to work for “a new global standard” to stamp out bank secrecy and pledged to deter multinational companies’ tax-avoidance strategies, according to a draft joint statement.
On the second day of talks in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, G-8 nations yesterday adopted a common approach to standards for cross-border disclosure and tax-data sharing among authorities, saying they “commit to establish the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities” to shine a light on how companies and individuals are meeting tax requirements.
Posted by admin on June 20, 2013