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Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:39 AM   #1
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Businesses - Welcome to Hong Kong

Leading Brazilian Bank arrives in Hong Kong
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Government Press Release

Banco Itau, Brazil's leading private bank, announced today (September 21) the opening of its first broker/dealer office in Hong Kong.

"Itau Asia Securities is a bold effort to bring Brazil's growing investment opportunities closer to Asian institutional investors," Head of Itau's global brokerage business, Mr Roberto Nishikawa said.

"There is an increasing demand for diversification, especially as spreads shrink in traditional investment destinations. Asian investors are looking for alternatives, and we think they will find many opportunities in Brazil," said Mr Nishikawa, who is Japanese-Brazilian.

Headed by the Chinese Brazilian-born Ms Julia Chen, Itau Asia Securities will start with offering Brazilian equity IPOs, fixed income and structured products to institutional investors throughout Asia.

Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Simon Galpin, congratulated Banco Itau on its new office in Hong Kong. He said, "Hong Kong is proud of its world-class financial and banking system, as well as our superior information technology infrastructure and professional workforce. I am pleased that Banco Itau has selected Hong Kong to set up its base. We look forward to the opportunity to provide assistance as the bank grows and develops here, and wish the bank every success in the years to come."

Banco Itau is the largest private bank in Brazil. It offers retail, commercial, corporate and private banking services, as well as consumer loans, financial management, insurance, pension plans, treasury services, mortgage loans, lease financing, securities brokerage, and foreign exchange services. Through its investment bank arm - Itau BBA, the bank has been a top player in recent Brazilian IPO's and the leader in corporate domestic debt issuance. Itau Corretora, the brokerage arm, has offices in Sao Paulo, New York, London and now Hong Kong to serve foreign institutional investors interested in Brazilian investments.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 05:15 AM   #2
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Q2 foreign investment in Hong Kong down on year

HONG KONG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong attracted HK$58.5 billion (US$7.5 billion) in foreign direct investment in the second quarter, down slightly from a year earlier, government data showed on Tuesday.

Hong Kong is benefiting as companies targeting growth in their China business expand or establish operations in the territory. However, the pace of that expansion appears to be slowing.

Foreign direct investment dipped 4.6 percent in the second quarter from HK$61.3 billion in the same period of 2005.

Some 82 foreign companies set up regional or local offices in Hong Kong in the year ending June 2006, up 1.2 percent from a year earlier but lagging 5.5 percent growth in the previous year, data showed on Tuesday.

Business groups including the American Chamber of Commerce say bad air pollution is threatening the territory's competitive edge by driving some expatriates away and making it more difficult to recruit foreign workers.

Mike Rowse, director-general of investment promotion at Invest Hong Kong, a government agency, said the city's deteriorating air quality was not prompting companies to choose other locations but admitted it was a concern.

"In so far as we are competing for business activity that is time-zone specific, we will face competition from Singapore and Sydney on lifestyle," Rowse told a press conference.

However, pollution in Hong Kong was no worse than in Shanghai or Beijing for companies that needed to be in China, he said.

Rising costs are also a concern, an Invest Hong Kong survey of foreign companies showed.

Office rents in Hong Kong have surged 37 percent in the past year, according to a recent report by property services firm CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. .

At an average of US$69 per square foot, they are the highest in the world after London, Tokyo and Paris.

There are now 6,354 foreign companies with local or regional offices in Hong Kong, including 1,280 U.S. companies, the biggest contingent, followed by 1,168 Japanese companies.

There are also more than 700 mainland Chinese companies with offices in Hong Kong, 268 of them regional offices, compared with hardly any just five years ago, Invest Hong Kong said.

The territory has also seen a sharp jump in the number of tourists from China in the past few years, creating a tourism boom and prompting a number of foreign hotel companies including the luxury Four Seasons Hotels Inc. to open in the territory.

Hotel occupancy rates averaged 86 percent between January and August 2006 and room rates rose by 11 percent from a year earlier, the Hong Kong Hotels Association said on Tuesday.

New hotel room supply increased by 11,728 in the past three years and will expand by a further 6,347 rooms in the next three years, the association said.

Room rates for five-star hotels rose by 19 percent in the first eight months of this year from a year earlier, partly reflecting growth in business from mainland Chinese travellers, the association said. (US$=HK$7.8)
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 06:50 AM   #3
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US law firm opens office in Hong Kong
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Government Press Release

Vinson & Elkins LLP(V&E)announced the opening of an office in Hong Kong, its seventh international office, to meet the increasing demand from clients for its services in Asia.

The V&E partner who coordinates the firm's International Practice, Mr Jay Cuclis, has relocated from the United States to head the new office in Hong Kong.

Mr Cuclis said the Hong Kong office would work closely with the firm's existing Asian offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, as well as the firm's other international offices in London, Moscow and Dubai.

"Hong Kong remains one of the key gateways to China and our new office there will allow us to more effectively represent international clients investing in China as well as to service Chinese clients investing in other markets," Mr Cuclis said. "In addition, our presence in Hong Kong will increase the firm's capabilities to assist clients on transactions throughout East Asia, as well as in other international markets such as Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East."

V&E, one of the world's leading energy law firms, has long recognised the increasing importance of Asia and, in particular, China, in international trade and investment, according to Managing Partner of Vinson & Elkins, Mr Joe Dilg.

"Hong Kong is one of the key financial centres of the world," Mr Dilg said. "Having a vibrant office there not only enhances our capabilities and depth in the rapidly growing Asian market, it is also synergistic with our growth plans in New York and London. Jay's broad international expertise and his prior experience in our London and Moscow offices make him the perfect choice to build a successful office in Hong Kong."

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, warmly welcomed V&E to Hong Kong.

"We are delighted to see international law firms like Vinson & Elkins continue to choose Hong Kong as a strategic location to capitalise on the fast-growing Asian market," Mr Rowse said. "Our high concentration of international and Mainland companies, rule of law and unique position as one of the key international arbitration centres have created an ideal business environment for world-class legal services providers. The addition of V&E to our legal services sector will certainly strengthen our existing offering to companies operating in our city and in the region."

Vinson & Elkins has operated a dynamic practice in the Asia-Pacific Region for many years. The firm's offices in Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai now have more than 20 lawyers and legal professionals focusing on general corporate advisory matters; foreign direct investment; mergers, acquisitions, structured and syndicated finance, project finance, joint ventures and energy restructuring; intellectual property protection; and dispute resolution -- whether through mediation, arbitration or litigation.

The firm's Asia-Pacific Practice Group has served multinational clients across a broad range of industries from private equity, finance, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, production and sourcing, to retail sales and distribution of consumer goods and other products. The group draws on the strengths and talents of lawyers across the firm's US and international offices, as well as its US-, English-, Singapore- and PRC-qualified lawyers and legal staff based in China and Japan.

In addition to handling matters relating to China or Japan, V&E lawyers in the Asia-Pacific Practice Group frequently advise clients investing throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including in Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and the Indian subcontinent. Increasingly, V&E's Asian offices also have been working closely with the firm's Dubai office in representing Middle Eastern investors on transactions in other parts of Asia, or Asian investors on transactions in the Middle East.

Head of Vinson & Elkins' China Practice, Mr Xiao Yong, said, "Vinson & Elkins' expansion into Hong Kong is a strong indication of the firm's commitment to the China practice and will further strengthen our capabilities throughout China and the Asia-Pacific region.”

In addition to Mr Xiao Yong, V&E partners in the region include co-head of the firm's China offices, Mr Paul Deemer; the firm's resident partner and chief representative in Shanghai, Mr David Blumental; and the firm's resident partner and chief representative in Tokyo, Mr Chris Dawe.

Hong Kong marks the fourth international office V&E has opened in the past three years.

Vinson & Elkins was established in 1917 and is one of the world's largest international law firms. The firm has about 700 lawyers practicing in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Washington DC. In 2005, V&E advised on more than 1,900 energy-sector transactions, projects, disputes and regulatory proceedings, collectively involving a value of more than US$165 billion. For more information, please visit the website at www.velaw.com.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 06:56 AM   #4
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Hong Kong attracts even more regional operations
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Government Press Release
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...0609260073.htm

Hong Kong continues to be the preferred base for international companies to oversee their regional operations. The number of regional operations and local offices in Hong Kong operated by overseas and Mainland companies reached its highest-ever level this year.

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (September 26) released the results of the 2006 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong.

Regional headquarters, regional offices and local offices in Hong Kong
----------------------------------------------------------------------

According to the Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong (the Survey) conducted by C&SD for 2006, there were 1,228 regional headquarters (RHQs), 2,617 regional offices (ROs) and 2,509 local offices (LOs) in Hong Kong representing their parent companies located outside Hong Kong as at June 1.

The US topped the list of countries/territories with companies having RHQs in Hong Kong. In 2006, a total of 295 RHQs in Hong Kong represented their American parent companies. This was followed by Japan, with 212 companies, and the United Kingdom, with 114 companies.

The major lines of business of the RHQs in Hong Kong were wholesale, retail and import/export trades; business services; and transport and related services.

As in the case of RHQs, the United States of America also topped the list of countries/territories with companies having ROs in Hong Kong. In 2006, a total of 594 ROs in Hong Kong represented their American parent companies. This was followed by Japan, with 519 companies, and the United Kingdom, with 223 companies.

The major lines of business of the ROs in Hong Kong were wholesale, retail and import/export trades; business services; and finance and banking.

The Mainland topped the list of countries/territories with companies having LOs in Hong Kong. In 2006, a total of 449 LOs in Hong Kong represented their parent companies in the Mainland. This was followed by Japan, with 437 companies, and the United States of America, with 391 companies.

The major lines of business of the LOs in Hong Kong were wholesale, retail and import/export trades; business services; and finance and banking.

For the purpose of the Survey, a regional headquarters (RHQ) is an office that has managerial control over offices in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

A regional office (RO) is an office that coordinates offices and/or operations in the region (i.e., Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

A local office (LO) is an office that only takes charge of the business in Hong Kong (but nowhere else) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

The 2006 Survey is the seventh of its kind conducted by C&SD. The previous surveys were conducted by the ex-Industry Department on an annual basis starting from the early 1990s.

Views of regional headquarters and regional offices
---------------------------------------------------

The Survey collected views on Hong Kong as a location for setting up RHQ/ROs from the RHQs and ROs in Hong Kong.

Among the factors affecting the choice of location for setting up RHQ/ROs, low and simple tax system was considered as the most important factor. Other important factors, in descending order of importance, included free flow of information, corruption free government, and absence of exchange controls. All these important factors were rated by over 60% of the companies to be favourable factors for Hong Kong as a location for setting up RHQ/ROs.

Among these factors, low and simple tax system was regarded by the majority of the companies (71%) as a favourable factor for Hong Kong. Other favourable factors, in descending order of Hong Kong’s favourableness rating, included free flow of information (69%); absence of exchange controls (69%); communication, transport and other infrastructure (67%); free port status (66%); corruption free government (66%); geographical location (64%); availability of business services and professional support services (63%); rule of law and independent judiciary (61%); political stability and security (61%); and availability of financial services (60%).

On the other hand, availability and cost of residential accommodation; and availability and cost of business accommodation were regarded by relatively larger proportions of the companies (33% and 32% respectively) as unfavourable factors for Hong Kong, while 14% and 16% respectively of the companies regarded them as favourable factors for Hong Kong.

About 50% of the companies considered that, comparing June 2006 with June 2005, the overall business environment in Hong Kong as a location for setting up RHQ/ROs remained more or less the same, and another 30% considered that the overall business environment had improved. About 55% of the companies indicated that the above views were not affected or were just slightly affected by the "Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement" implemented since January 2004 (CEPA), and another 28% indicated that the above views were affected to some extent.

About 76% of the companies indicated that their investment activities were not affected by CEPA. On the other hand, about 10% of the companies indicated that their investment activities were affected by CEPA, and the most common effect was the setting up of new business expansion plans (8%).

Views of local offices
----------------------

The Survey also collected views on Hong Kong as a location for setting up LOs from the LOs in Hong Kong.

Among the factors affecting the choice of location for setting up LOs, low and simple tax system was considered as the most important factor. Other important factors, in descending order of importance, included corruption free government, free flow of information, and absence of exchange controls. All these important factors were rated by over 60% of the companies to be favourable factors for Hong Kong as a location for setting up LOs.

Among these factors, low and simple tax system was regarded by the majority of the companies (70%) as a favourable factor for Hong Kong. Other favourable factors, in descending order of Hong Kong's favourableness rating, included free flow of information (67%); absence of exchange controls (67%); corruption free government (65%); free port status (63%); communication, transport and other infrastructure (63%); and availability of business services and professional support services (60%).

On the other hand, availability and cost of business accommodation; and availability and cost of residential accommodation were regarded by relatively larger proportions of the companies (31% and 31% respectively) as unfavourable factors for Hong Kong, while 18% and 14% respectively of the companies regarded them as favourable factors for Hong Kong.

About 47% of the companies considered that, comparing June 2006 with June 2005, the overall business environment in Hong Kong as a location for setting up LOs remained more or less the same, and another 34% considered that the overall business environment had improved. About 53% of the companies indicated that the above views were not affected or were just slightly affected by CEPA, and another 28% indicated that the above views were affected to some extent.

About 78% of the companies indicated that their investment activities were not affected by CEPA. On the other hand, about 8% of the companies indicated that their investment activities were affected by CEPA, and the most common effect was the setting up of new business expansion plans (6%).

_______________________

Commentary
----------

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mike Rowse, commented on the results of the survey. "With the increased number of regional operations during the past year, Hong Kong now is host to over 6 300 overseas and Mainland companies. We are pleased with the overall results, which show that international businesses continue to prefer managing their regional operations from Hong Kong.

"In line with the trend observed in recent years, the report indicates that investors from traditional markets, including the US, Japan and the UK, continue to see Hong Kong as the key strategic location to manage regional businesses. At the same time, Mainland companies continue to be the largest source of local offices in Hong Kong.

"The results demonstrate that Hong Kong's traditional advantages – including a low and simple tax system, free flow of information, corruption free government and absence of exchange controls – are the most important reasons for investors choosing Hong Kong for the location of their regional operations. However, we cannot be complacent. We are well aware of the keen competition for investment in the region, and the need to continue to improve the business environment in Hong Kong to retain our leading position.

"The report provides us with valuable information to help understand the determining factors for investors in selecting their business locations, as well as regarding their main issues of concern. We are committed to address these issues at different levels within the Government, and will continue to work closely with the international business community to facilitate their business operations in Hong Kong," Mr Rowse added.
________________

Further information
-------------------

The Survey was conducted to enumerate RHQs, ROs and LOs in Hong Kong representing their parent companies located outside Hong Kong. While the survey reference date was June 1, 2006, fieldwork of the Survey was mainly conducted in the three months thereafter.

Owing to the lack of a complete survey frame, the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs enumerated in each survey round represents only the best snapshot that could be taken at the time of the Survey. Coupled with the voluntary nature of the Survey, changes between years in the number of RHQs, ROs, and LOs may be affected by the continuous improvement in survey frame and response rate, and hence should be interpreted with care. Fortunately, with a response rate of 98% or above attained since the 2003 Survey, the effect of response rate has been under control.

The definitions of RHQ, RO and LO have been revised as from the 2006 Survey to enhance the clarity of description. It should therefore be noted that figures for RHQ, RO and LO for 2006 may not be strictly comparable with those before 2006.

The survey only covers companies that manage the business in Hong Kong or in the region on behalf of their parent companies located outside Hong Kong. It does not cover, for example, companies which are funded by investment from outside Hong Kong and manage the business in Hong Kong or in the region independently but not on behalf of the investors. Hence, the total number of RHQs, ROs and LOs in Hong Kong does not represent all companies with investment from outside Hong Kong.

More detailed results of the Survey are set out in the "Report on 2006 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong". Users can download this publication free of charge at the "Statistical Bookstore, Hong Kong" (www.statisticalbookstore.gov.hk) of C&SD. Print version of this publication is available for sale at $32. It can be purchased in person at the Publications Unit of the C&SD (Address: 19/F Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel: 2582 3025), or through mail order by completing and returning an order form which can be downloaded from the C&SD's website (http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_...ons/index.jsp), or online at the Statistical Bookstore and the Government Bookstore of the Information Services Department (www.isd.gov.hk/eng/bookorder.htm). Print versions if purchased online are offered at 85% of their original prices.

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Business Expectation Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2805 6112).
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:09 AM   #5
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US recycler/reseller of mobile phones manages regional business from Hong Kong
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Government Press Release



Recognising Asia's huge and growing mobile phone user market and Hong Kong's strategic location, US-based ReCellular Inc announced today (October 3) the opening of its regional office in Hong Kong.

ReCellular's Hong Kong office is responsible for the evaluation of purchased mobile phone products, parts and components produced or sourced in the region in its product evaluation laboratories. It also supplies mobile phones to refurbishers and repairers as well as conducting other sales functions.

The founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of ReCellular Inc, Mr Charles ******, said, "We strive to build partnerships with value-added providers in Asia in order to create new sales and revenue opportunities. The new Hong Kong office will enable bulk purchasers of used and refurbished mobile phone products to view and inspect merchandise as part of the purchasing process."

Mr ****** remarked that Hong Kong's proximity to the Mainland market - the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world - places the company in a good position to take advantage of this very attractive opportunity. "According to official reports, China has the largest number of mobile phone subscribers of any nation in the world - over 380 million. This tremendous market potential, along with a multitude of potential customers and service partners, makes our local presence imperative. We look forward to developing a strong strategic base here, one that will become a significant source of our business growth."

Mr ****** added that the Kowloon Bay facility is only the first step in ReCellular's business plan in Hong Kong. "We are confident that business opportunities in the region will afford the company's further growth and hiring additional staff here."

The Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr John Rutherford, congratulated ReCellular on the establishment of its Hong Kong operation, "The telecommunications sector is a key contributor to our local economy. With one of the most open markets in the world; and the world's largest telecom market on our doorstep we are a natural home for companies in this business, particularly if, like ReCellular, they have regional ambitions."

Mr Rutherford added, "Hong Kong has a dynamic mobile phone market, with a mobile subscriber penetration rate of 127.4% as of June 2006. Most mobile phone users want to be at the forefront of latest market trends, which creates a high demand for the latest phone models. Our city therefore provides an excellent source of products for recycle and resale in other markets in the region.

"On behalf of Invest Hong Kong, I wish ReCellular every success in its regional business development, especially by tapping Hong Kong's long-established strengths in sales and marketing."

Founded in 1991, Michigan-based ReCellular Inc is a global leader in collecting, reselling and recycling used wireless phones and accessories. It is the largest company in this market and currently processes over 300,000 phones per month. More information about ReCellular can be found at www.recellular.com.
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Old October 16th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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UK-based Alliance Trust PLC to launch new asset management business in Hong Kong
Monday, October 16, 2006
Government Press Release

Alliance Trust PLC, the largest generalist investment trust company listed on the London Stock Exchange, today (October 16) announced it will soon be expanding with the launch of a new asset management business - AT Asset Management (Asia-Pacific) Limited (ATAM). ATAM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC, based in Hong Kong. It plans to commence operations in the coming months.

The new boutique asset management company will aim to manage a diverse range of products and services to meet the needs of both retail and institutional investors. The first area in which it proposes to manage new investment products is Asia-Pacific - a region which Alliance Trust believes will be a key driver in future world growth, and where it has already established an experienced team with a proven track record and direct on-the-ground exposure to the markets. The initial funds to be managed by the new company are expected to be an Asia-Pacific ex-Japan equity fund and a Japanese equity fund for sale in UK.

The fund management team, led by the Executive Director of ATAM, Mr Anthony Muh, currently has three fund managers and three analysts, with 56 years' combined investment management experience. Over the next 18 months ATAM plans to expand its investment team, and launch other new funds where it sees growth opportunities to deliver increased investment choice to investors.

Commenting on the launch of the new business, the Chief Executive of Alliance Trust PLC, Mr Alan Harden said, "The launch of our new asset management subsidiary in Hong Kong will be the first stage of our business expansion in the region. We are very excited by the new opportunities brought about by the establishment of ATAM in Hong Kong which we believe will make a significant contribution to the group."

The Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Simon Galpin, welcomed Alliance Trust PLC's new Hong Kong subsidiary. He said, "Hong Kong's role as an international financial hub is underpinned by the rule of law, effective regulatory regime, absence of foreign exchange control, and a low and simple tax regime."

Mr Galpin added, "With our close proximity to Mainland China, Hong Kong is well placed to tap this enormous market potential. The addition of Alliance Trust will enrich Hong Kong's pool of premier financial institutions and further increase the range and depth of financial products available for regional investors."

Alliance Trust PLC is the largest generalist investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange. A FTSE-250 company, it had US$5 billion of assets at the end of July 2006. More information about Alliance Trust can be found at www.alliancetrust.co.uk.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 06:24 AM   #7
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Hong Kong remains leading regional and global FDI destination
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Government Press Release

Hong Kong retained its position as Asia’s second largest destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to the “World Investment Report 2006”, released today (October 17) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Mainland of China retained its No.1 ranking. Hong Kong and the Mainland together accounted for over half of FDI inflows in the region last year.

The Report presents the latest data on FDI and traces the global and regional trends.

Global FDI inflows rose substantially in 2005, for the second consecutive year. The total FDI inflows reached US$916 billion, up 29% from 2004.

The Report shows that FDI grew in all sectors, with services remaining the dominant sector. By contrast, the share of the manufacturing sector in the total fell in 2005.

Asia remained the largest FDI recipient among developing regions. Mainland China again led Asia, with US$72.4 billion in 2005. FDI flows to Hong Kong increased by 5.6% to US$35.9 billion. Hong Kong’s inflow was greater than the total of the next three largest FDI recipients in Asia-Singapore (US$20.1 billion), South Korea (US$7.2 billion) and India (US$6.6 billion).

On a global scale, Hong Kong ranked 6th in FDI inflows in 2005, and continued to be classified as one of the “front-runner” economies as a result of the high rankings in both the UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index and UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index.

Hong Kong led all Asian economies and rose to fourth globally in the amount of inward FDI stock last year, with US$533 billion.

Joined by Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Richard Wong, the Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, commented on UNCTAD’s World Investment Report at a press conference.

Mr Rowse said, “We are encouraged to see that Hong Kong continues to be a major destination for FDI globally, maintaining our position as the 6th largest recipient of FDI in the world.”

“The results reflect Hong Kong’s unique position as the two-way platform for overseas investors accessing the Mainland and rest of the region – and for Mainland companies to expand in the international markets.

“Beyond the numbers, many of these companies are bringing new skills, products and services and job opportunities that contribute substantially to our economic development and competitiveness,” Mr Rowse said.

The Report also discussed prospects for global FDI flows.

Data available on this year’s investment activity to date point to favourable prospects for continued growth in FDI flows worldwide in 2006. In the first half of 2006, for example, cross-border M&As, an important factor in the 2005 increase, rose by 39% in value over the same period last year.

Mr Rowse said, “The forecast coincides with our own recent results. According to the latest figures released by the Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong’s inward FDI in the first six months of 2006 amounted to US$20.66 billion. During the same period, Invest Hong Kong has assisted 156 overseas and Mainland companies to invest here. We are confident that Hong Kong will remain one of the largest FDI recipients in the region.”

“Despite the encouraging results and a positive outlook, we are not complacent. The Government is well aware of the keen competition for FDI in the region, and is committed to maintaining and enhancing the overall business environment in Hong Kong. Invest Hong Kong will continue to monitor regional and global FDI trends and opportunities and keep up our targeted efforts to attract foreign investors,” he concluded.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:07 PM   #8
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Switzerland's Bank Julius Baer officially opens for business in Hong Kong
Friday, November 3, 2006
Government Press Release

Bank Julius Baer, Switzerland's largest dedicated wealth manager, has celebrated the official opening of its Hong Kong operation today (November 3). Its office, located in the heart of the bustling financial district at Two Exchange Square, offers clients in the region the opportunity to take advantage of a wide range of financial services and tailor-made wealth management solutions.

The Hong Kong office, Julius Baer's hub for North Asia, is led by Mr Andrea M Benenati, who has an in-depth knowledge of the market, its clients and their needs.

"Asia is not only a key strategic growth region, but also our biggest growth story, and we are proud to be represented with such a talented and experienced team here in Hong Kong," Dr Alex W Widmer, CEO Private Banking, said. "Client interest has been very encouraging so far, and with Mr Andrea Benenati at the helm, supported by a staff of senior dedicated private bankers, our Hong Kong operation can now deliver the first-class service for which we are already well-known in Europe and the Americas."

Bank Julius Baer acquired three Swiss private banks and the global asset manager GAM in 2005, boosting total assets under management to CHF 320 billion (HK$ 1.9 trillion) by mid-2006, and placing the bank in the top tier of international wealth managers. The bank has a long tradition of successfully managing assets in what are considered traditional markets.

"Within the next five years, we want to achieve a significant amount of our total assets under management in emerging markets, with Asia leading the way," Dr Alex W Widmer said.

"Julius Baer now has the size and the expertise in Asia to make it the first stop for clients looking for a specialised private bank," Dr Thomas R Meier, CEO Asia, Middle East, Aegean & Eastern Europe, added. "Julius Baer is now an international player to be reckoned with."

"Hong Kong is booming," Mr Andrea Benenati, CEO North Asia, added. "We believe in the opportunities this region has to offer and we are here to make a difference."

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, was delighted that Julius Baer chose to set up its new office in Hong Kong. He said, "Hong Kong's strategic location at the doorstep of the booming Mainland market makes the city an ideal investment destination for any wealth management expert. We wish Julius Baer every success and look forward to working closely with the financial institution for its future expansion here."

The Julius Baer Group is the leading dedicated wealth manager in Switzerland. The Group, whose roots date back to the 19th century, concentrates exclusively on the fields of private banking and asset management for private and institutional clients. The Group's global presence comprises over 30 locations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia, including Zurich (head office), Buenos Aires, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Lugano, New York, Singapore and Tokyo. Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd, the key company of the Group, has a long-term debt rating of Aa3 from Moody's. The shares of Julius Baer Holding Ltd are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange and are included in the Swiss Market Index (SMI). For more information about the company, please go to www.juliusbaer.com.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM   #9
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Retail sales surge as economy improves

Gita Dhungana

Friday, November 03, 2006


Hong Kong retail sales in September moderated from the five-month high recorded in August, but remained robust due to strong domestic consumption
Government figures released Thursday show the value of retail sales reached HK$16.9 billion, up 7.5 percent from September 2005.


"This was on the back of the improving employment situation, pause in US interest rate hikes, and the positive wealth effect stemming from the buoyant stock market performance," a government spokesperson said.

"Looking ahead, thriving local consumption and inbound tourism should continue to bode well for local retail business."

In August, retail sales climbed 8.4 percent year over year to HK$17.9 billion, the highest in five months. Taking the first nine months together, total retail sales rose by 6.8 percent in value or 5.6 percent in volume over last year.

September's growth was below the median of the 8.5 percent forecast by 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

By category, the volume of sales of footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories increased the most in September, by 12.9 percent; followed by motor vehicles and parts, up 12.7 percent; electrical goods and photographic equipment, up 12.4 percent; and furniture and fixtures, up 10.5 percent.

Sales of miscellaneous consumer durable goods fell 2 percent, while jewelry, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts slipped by 0.9 percent.

"[Retailing] was slower than we expected, mainly due to fewer-than- expected tourists coming to Hong Kong in September," said Paul Tang, chief economist at the Bank of East Asia (0023). Hong Kong's visitor numbers in September rose 2.4 percent from the same month last year to 1.83 million, down from an 11.2 percent jump in August.

But economists do not see the slowdown as problematic since domestic demand still remains strong.

Tang predicts retail sales in the fourth quarter will rise by 8 percent over the same period a year ago, with consumer confidence buoyed by strong equity markets and employment growth.

Hong Kong' unemployment rate for July-September fell to 4.7 percent, the lowest level in more than five years. The benchmark Hang Seng Index surged 261.13 points Thursday to close at a record 18,714.78 points.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #10
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UK medical device developer bases Asia-Pacific office in Hong Kong
Monday, 13 November, 2006
Government Press Release

SunTech Medical, Inc, a world leader in blood pressure monitoring products and technology, announced the opening of its Hong Kong office today (13 November).

As SunTech’s first Asian venture, the Hong Kong operation will be responsible for providing a full range of sales and marketing support to its distributors throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Regional Director of SunTech Medical in Hong Kong, Mr Anthony Nixon, said, “Sales operations associated with our medical devices have previously been based only in the UK and US. As our business grows in this region, it has become strategically important to establish a base here in order to be immediately available and responsive to the needs of our customers, both in Hong Kong and the rest of this region.”

Commenting on the choice of Hong Kong as its regional hub, Mr Nixon said, “We firmly believe that Hong Kong is the epicentre for Asian market development. China’s rise as a major consumer and manufacturer further prompted SunTech Medical to operate directly in this booming market. The business-friendly environment and the great ease of setting up and operating a business in Hong Kong are among the city’s many advantages.”

He continued, “We have been encouraged and assisted by Invest Hong Kong at every stage in our efforts to set up an office in Hong Kong. I am certain that the business attitude and environment here will benefit the further development and consolidation of our business operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

The Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr John Rutherford, congratulated SunTech Medical on the establishment of its Hong Kong office. “I am delighted to see another renowned technology company choose Hong Kong as the regional marketing base for its products. As well as our proximity to the Mainland market, Hong Kong is well placed in the centre of the Asia Pacific region to provide effective support to every significant market. The city also provides an excellent window to showcase new products to the region, and is therefore an ideal location to conduct proactive sales and marketing activities. We have been delighted to work with Anthony Nixon as he has developed SunTech Medical’s strategy for having a presence in Asia.”

Founded in 1984, SunTech Medical is a wholly owned subsidiary of SunTech Medical Group Limited which is a privately-owned British company. It develops and markets clinical grade blood pressure measurement devices and operates from bases in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and Oxford, UK. For more information about SunTech Medical, please visit the website at www.suntechmed.com.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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Fimat operates with new banking status, establishes its regional headquarters in Hong Kong
Wednesday, 15 November, 2006
Government Press Release

Fimat, one of the world’s leading global brokerage organisations and a part of Société Générale Securities Services, announced today (15 November) the opening of Fimat International Banque SA (Hong Kong Branch), which will operate with a full banking license.

Fimat’s new banking status in Hong Kong will help leverage its operations in the region, benefiting directly from the newly acquired financial strength, the bank will offer clients new services, such as increased financing capabilities and prime brokerage services, as well as more complex products following regulatory approvals.

The Chairman and CEO of Fimat Group, Mr Patrice Blanc, said, “This branch is a key addition to the existing Fimat network in Asia-Pacific. The acquisition of our full banking license in Hong Kong follows a very rigorous process which illustrates our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and to Hong Kong in particular.”

The CEO of Fimat in Asia-Pacific, Mr Wessel van der Scheer, commented, “With the establishment of Fimat International Banque SA (Hong Kong Branch) as our regional hub, Fimat customers will benefit from a quicker time-to-market delivery for new products and services from this region.”

Fimat in Hong Kong comprises 150 employees; more than 90 of them will be located in the new Fimat International Banque SA structure. The company has been operating in Hong Kong since 1993 through Fimat Hong Kong Limited (a participant of the HKEx and a licensed corporation of the SFC) and Fimat Derivatives Hong Kong Limited.

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, congratulated Fimat on its new milestone in Hong Kong. He said, “We are delighted to see the continued growth and development of a leading financial institution in our city. We are particularly pleased that Fimat has also recently moved its regional headquarters to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong office will now oversee business operations in India, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and in future, Mainland China. These decisions clearly demonstrate the company’s long-term commitment to become an integral member of our financial sector, and at the same time, demonstrate the company’s confidence in our city.”

Fimat is part of Société Générale Group and is a subsidiary of Société Générale Securities Services. Fimat Group consists of more than 1,850 staff in 25 markets. It is a member of 45 derivatives exchanges and 19 stock exchanges worldwide. In 2005, Fimat achieved a global market share of 5.3% on major derivatives exchanges of which Fimat and its subsidiaries are members. For more information about Fimat, please visit the website at www.fimat.com.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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Pointsec opens Greater China headquarters in Hong Kong to support increased need for mobile security
Tuesday, 28 November, 2006
Government Press Release

Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a global leader in mobile enterprise security, today (28 November) announced that it has established its Greater China headquarters in Hong Kong. The new office will support Pointsec's growing business in the region and spearhead a major push into Greater China.

"With more and more people working on the move using a wide range of mobile computing devices, data security is now very high on the agenda," said the Regional Director Greater China, Pointsec Mobile Technologies, Mr David Ip. "Enterprises in this part of the world have highly mobile workforces and they are increasingly concerned about protecting their sensitive information. By basing our new headquarters in Hong Kong, which has one of the most mature telecommunications infrastructures in the world, we will be well placed to respond to the business opportunities in the rapidly developing Greater China marketplace."

Pointsec offers a broad range of encryption coverage in the industry with support for Windows-based laptops and desktops, Linux-based systems, removable storage media such as USB sticks and CDs, and popular wireless handhelds on the Microsoft, Symbian and Palm operating systems.

The company's products include Pointsec for PC, data security software for client PCs; Pointsec Media Encryption, data security software for removable media; and Pointsec for Pocket PC, for use with Pocket PCs.

"I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Pointsec – the latest in an impressive list of approximately 130 Swedish companies to establish their operations in Hong Kong," said Consul-General of Sweden, Mrs Boel Evander. "Sweden has an excellent pedigree when it comes to information technology and telecommunications which has spawned many highly creative companies. In fact, it was Swedish engineer and inventor, Håkan Lans, who invented the STDMA datalink and the graphic processor for colour computer graphics among many other milestones in these industries. It is very rewarding to see Pointsec taking Sweden's excellent heritage into Asia with its mobile security solutions."

The Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr John Rutherford, warmly welcomed the establishment of Pointsec’s Greater China headquarters in Hong Kong. He said, "Per capita, Hong Kong is one of the world’s largest users of mobile equipment and we are at the cutting edge in the adoption of latest technologies for that industry. It is important however that security levels match the pace of new technology advances and this is where Pointsec is positioned to support the industry. We wish the company every success in Hong Kong and the region."

Established in 1988, Pointsec Mobile Technologies has operations in Australia, Japan, Europe, the US and the Middle East. Pointsec has a strong client base that includes many of the world's largest organisations including the US Department of Justice, US Department of Defence, US Drug Enforcement Agency, Cap Gemini, the three largest global accountancy firms, TeliaSonera and Ericsson. The company also has partnerships with major industry players including Nokia, Entrust and Symbian. More company information can be found at www.pointsec.com.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #13
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Opening of Woori Global Markets Asia Limited - The first Korean financial institution to become a global investment platform launched in Hong Kong
Friday, 1 December, 2006
Government Press Release

Woori Global Markets Asia Limited (“WGMA”), wholly-owned subsidiary of Woori Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Korea established in 1899, announced the official launch in Hong Kong, to become a global financial player providing international financial solution. Hosted by Mr Hwang Young Key, Chairman and CEO of Woori Financial Group (“WFG”), the grand opening ceremony was officiated by Mr William Ryback, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”).

Also presenting at the ceremony were over 700 guests including Mr Cho Whan-bok, Consul-General of the Republic of Korea, as well as many distinguished members of the financial community in Hong Kong and from across Asia. The perfect mix of the guests symbolized WGMA’s aim to become a respected and responsible member of the international financial community since it has been authorized to begin business operation from the HKMA at end of September 2006 in Hong Kong, the financial centre of Asia. It is also reviewing plans to receive investment or partnering up with major financial institutions in order to diversify, expand its business scope, strengthen its resources and improve the localisation of its business in the region.

As the first Korean financial institution to become a global investment platform launched in Hong Kong, WGMA will target all potential clients in Asia and in particular with a focus on emerging markets, with a distinctive business model of providing cross-border financial services including underwriting, arranging and advisory services in relation to syndicated lending and financial accommodation in the corporate & secured finance sector and the project & structured finance sector. It also intends to offer debt capital market services, fixed-income, asset management and other value-added products in the near future. Along with commercial services rendered by Woori Bank Hong Kong Branch and equity-related trading and other investment services provided by Woori Investment & Securities (HK) Limited, WGMA will complete Woori Group’s lineup of a full range of financial services in Hong Kong.

“The inception of Woori Bank’s Investment Banking Group in 2002 has played a key role in the corporate and investment banking business in Korea. At that time, it was the first attempt by a Korean domestic financial institution to create a business unit solely for investment banking and its success was closely followed by other banks in Korea. The group is now expanding its presence overseas through WGMA. We hope our effort this time will again set the best practice for the financial sector in Korea.”, Mr Hwang concluded at the ceremony.

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, welcomed the establishment of Woori Markets Asia Limited in Hong Kong. He said, “Hong Kong is an international financial hub housing more than 70 of world’s top 100 banks. We offer an unbeatable strategic location, high-speed communications, free flow of capital and information, as well as the world’s freest economy. I wish WGMA every success in Hong Kong, the booming Asian region and beyond.”

Woori Financial Group (“WFG”) is Korea’s first financial holding company and one of the largest financial groups in Korea. Under its umbrella are three banks, a securities firm, an asset management company, a private equity fund as well as other companies. Among them, Woori Bank is the flagship company, representing more than 80% of its assets and Korea’s leading corporate bank for the last century.

Woori Bank’s overseas network is based in 11 countries and 34 regions around the world, including New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Suzhou will be included as the 4th branch in Greater China very soon.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #14
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Expedia names new Asia Pacific executive
6 December 2006

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) - Travel Website operator Expedia Inc. said Wednesday it named Henrik Kjellberg as president of Expedia Asia Pacific, succeeding Barney Harford, who has held the role since 2004.

Under a transition plan, Harford will continue involvement with Expedia Asia Pacific activities as a director of eLong Inc., in which Expedia holds a controlling 52 percent stake.

"With Expedia's launches into the three largest markets in the Asia Pacific region successfully accomplished, and after almost eight years with Expedia, I feel it is the right time for me to pursue a long held dream -- to spend a year exploring the world's greatest ski and surf locations," said Barney Harford.

Expedia also announced it established a new Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Hong Kong. Kjellberg, who will relocate to Hong Kong, joined Expedia in June 2001 and led the launch of Expedia in Holland and Italy and the European roll out of WWTE, Expedia's private label business. In January 2006, Kjellberg was promoted to senior vice president of international lodging and destination services within Expedia Partner Services Group. He has been an eLong director since October 2005.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #15
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Tremont Capital Management uses Hong Kong as regional headquarters to extend global reach
Monday, 4 December, 2006
Government Press Release

Tremont Group Holdings, Inc., a leading investment manager of fund of hedge fund products and multi-manager portfolios, today (4 December) announced the roll out of its operations in Hong Kong. Tremont Capital Management (Asia) Limited is Tremont’s first office in Asia and also the company’s regional headquarters. Tremont’s Hong Kong office intends to deliver fund of hedge fund products and portfolio solutions to an expanding base of local and regional private banks, institutional clients and qualified high net worth investors. Tremont Capital Management (Asia) recently obtained from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission a license to conduct its operations.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring to our Asian clients the benefits of our 22 years of experience in seeking to provide quality, risk-adjusted returns over the long-term and help our investors achieve their goals amidst ever-changing market conditions,” said Mr Rupert Allan, Tremont’s worldwide President. “The launch of the Hong Kong office strengthens our position as a global investment manager of fund of hedge fund products and serves as the cornerstone of our growth throughout the region serving our clients and investors.”

Ms Cynthia Nicoll, the Tremont organization’s Chief Investment Officer, added, “Hedge funds increasingly represent a global investment opportunity. There's growing interest in our products throughout the Asian market and we're particularly excited about growing our capabilities and serving clients in the region from our base in Hong Kong.”

Tremont’s Hong Kong office will be led by Mr Lavin Mok, Managing Director, who has over ten years’ experience in the funds industry. With the sales operation already in place, Mr Mok will manage that operation and help develop a local research team in connection with the products and portfolio management services of its overseas affiliates, which will seek to facilitate access to the leading hedge fund managers in the region.

The Hong Kong office will work in concert with Tremont’s headquarters in Rye, New York which, together with its other regional subsidiaries in London and Toronto, will provide a global perspective for its Asian clients. The Tremont organisation currently has over US$8 billion in assets under management. In general, funds of hedge funds invest in a number of individual hedge funds and seek to create a diversified portfolio of funds which will deliver similar return characteristics, but with a lower overall level of volatility.

Mr Mok said, “We see significant opportunities in the regional marketplace and are looking to grow our Asian clientele in both size and depth. The new office will serve the fund of hedge funds needs of our Asia-based clients, providing the full benefits of Tremont’s recognised leadership in the industry.”

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Mr Mike Rowse, congratulated Tremont Capital Management on its new venture in Hong Kong. He remarked, “We are delighted to see another premier financial institution basing its regional operation in Hong Kong. It is clearly a vote of confidence to our strengths as an international financial centre,” Mr Rowse continued, “Hong Kong’s close proximity to the rapidly-developing Mainland market and strategic location in Asia-Pacific - together with our sound legal system, cluster of financial professionals and years of track record in the industry- enhance our city’s attraction to successful financial institutions like Tremont. We wish your company all the best and look forward to supporting your expansion as you develop your business here and in this region.”

Tremont Capital Management (Asia) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tremont Group Holdings, Inc. and serves as the organization’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong. Tremont Group Holdings, Inc. was formed in 1984 and is based in Rye, New York. Through its Tremont Capital Management unit, it is recognized worldwide as an established leader in the investment management of fund of hedge fund investment products and multi-manager portfolios. Tremont also has offices in London and Toronto and Hong Kong. Tremont operating subsidiaries are regulated around the world by the U.S.’s Securities and Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers, the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Tremont is an affiliate of OppenheimerFunds, one of the largest and most respected asset management companies in the United States.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #16
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Mideast money in swoop on HK
Hong Kong Standard
Saturday, April 14, 2007

The high-profile visit to Hong Kong earlier this month by a member of the Saudi royal family who was looking for investment opportunities both here and in the mainland has enticed another group of wealthy Middle Eastern investors to Asia.

Middle East investment consultant company Family Group was in town this week scouting for suitable investment opportunities for its clients, sources said.

The company was leading a group of 30 of its wealthiest clients on a fact- finding trip to Hong Kong and China. However, the combined net worth of the investors and the sum they hope to invest remains unknown.

According to sources, about 90 percent of the investors had never visited Hong Kong or China before.

The group arrived in Hong Kong Wednesday and was treated to a closed- door lunch Friday with Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang, who also made a speech.

The group also visited the Hong Kong stock exchange before moving on to China where they were expected to attend a number of investment conferences.

Middle Eastern investors, buoyed by robust oil revenue, have been looking for places in Asia to invest their money.

The richest person in the Middle East, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Hong Kong on April 3 as part of a 10-day tour of Asia looking for business opportunities.

During his visit, he said he was planning to spend US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion) in Asia and there was no upper limit on his investment in China.

Last year, Alwaleed and a group of Saudi investors threw US$2 billion into the initial public offering of Bank of China (3988).

The world's largest IPO last year, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398), which was looking to raise HK$154 billion, allocated shares to two corporate investors from the Middle East, according to its listing prospectus.

The Kuwait Investment Authority, which manages the country's funds and assets, invested HK$5.6 billion in ICBC.

The Qatar Investment Authority invested HK$1.6 billion.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #17
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60pc of US firms in HK plan to expand, but Cepa fails to impress
11 December 2007
South China Morning Post

US companies in Hong Kong have given a strong vote of confidence to the city's business outlook, with close to 60 per cent planning to expand their business here, a survey released yesterday shows.

But almost half of the American Chamber of Commerce's member companies polled did not find the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) - a free-trade agreement between the mainland and Hong Kong - very helpful.

The poll, commissioned by AmCham, was conducted online by Nielsen between October 18 and November 9. A total of 162 questionnaires were returned. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.9 per cent.

In its 18th consecutive year, this year's survey showed 42 per cent of companies gave a rating of "very satisfactory" to the business environment in Hong Kong, compared with 31 per cent in last year's poll and 37 per cent in 2005.

Close to three-quarters forecast the business environment would continue to be "good" next year and 75 per cent forecast Hong Kong's economic outlook to be "good".

Both figures in this category were a significant increase of 8 percentage points and 11 points compared with last year's poll.

But Cepa was viewed with less enthusiasm. About 45 per cent did not find it helpful, and only 22 per cent of member companies conducted business on the mainland.

Of those who said they had benefited from Cepa, 71 per cent said its impact had been "moderate".

The forecast for the mainland's business environment remained positive, with 63 per cent rating the outlook for next year as "good" and 35 per cent rating it as "satisfactory".

But "corruption", "transparency of laws and regulations" and "intellectual property rights protection" remained the main concerns about doing business across the border.

Chamber vice-chairman Steven DeKrey said: "We are glad to see that member companies continue to feel confident about Hong Kong's business future."
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:51 PM   #18
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Wal-Mart is coming to town!!!!!
Well...... not the shop, but its Asia's HQ.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart launches Asia regional headquarters in Hong Kong
www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-03 16:24:44

HONG KONG, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- World superstore giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced here Wednesday the establishment of its new Asia regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

President and Chief Executive Officer for Wal-Mart Asia Vicente Trius said the Hong Kong regional headquarters will have strategic responsibilities for managing the company's current operations in Asia and for business development.

The new Wal-Mart office in Hong Kong will oversee the company's operations in the Chinese mainland, India and Japan, as well as identify new business opportunities for the company throughout Asia, Trius said.

"Hong Kong is the perfect location from which to operate a regional headquarters for Asia, as it is centrally located and offers ready access to markets across the region," Trius said.

Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest HK Mike Rowse welcomed Wal-Mart's decision to choose Hong Kong from among other cities in Asia, saying Wal-Mart's establishment of regional headquarters here represents a powerful vote of confidence in Hong Kong as the preferred location for leading global companies to manage their business in the Chinese mainland and elsewhere in Asia.

Over the years, Hong Kong has been the most popular location in Asia for companies from around the world to establish a regional hub. Some 3,900 overseas and Chinese mainland companies operate regional headquarters or regional offices in Hong Kong, according to Invest HK.

Wal-Mart Asia's Vice President Brian Walker said Wal-Mart is able to recruit the right local staff for its regional headquarters with the city's abundant pool of talent and professionals, together with its excellent transportation, communications and technology infrastructure.
----------------------------------------------
Quoted from: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...nt_9763532.htm
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Old September 4th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #19
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I don't think Walmart's business model would ever work in Hong Kong. Buying bulk is not going to be adopted as a popular shopping method when families live in such cramped space.

But their superstores in China are great though.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #20
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Cool $7.55b for juice king
Benjamin Scent

Thursday, September 04, 2008



ADVERTISEMENT



Coca-Cola's bid to take over China's biggest juice producer will leave company founder Zhu Xinli pocketing a massive HK$7.55 billion slice.
The US drink giant's biggest mainland acquisition - according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters - will see it pay HK$19.5 billion for China Huiyuan Juice Group (1886).

It will be the largest takeover by a foreign firm of a mainland company.

The deal caps a true rags-to-riches story for Zhu, who began life as the son of a poor farmer and built a juice empire on a small bank loan and a hefty dollop of passion.

He is now considered one of China's most successful founders of a privately owned enterprise. Zhu's down-to-earth management style, born of his humble roots, has contributed to the company's success.

The juice king was born the son of a farmer in a small village in Yiyuan county, Shandong province. Growing up with five brothers, Zhu sometimes found himself without enough food to eat. He eventually entered a career in the local county government, most recently working as deputy director of the foreign economic and trade department.

In 1992 Zhu made the tough decision to leave the stability and comfort of his government position to take over a nearly bankrupt juice-can manufacturer. It was not easy to give up the "iron rice bowl." His friends and family warned him not to make the jump, but Zhu says he did not want to regret passing up the chance of a lifetime. "I didn't know anything about the juice industry when I started," Zhu said earlier this year. "All I had was a gut feeling that this is what I had to do."

Unlike the current generation of young Chinese entrepreneurs, fresh out of school with energy and ideas, Zhu made a late start on his business career. He was 40 when he decided to take the risk of going out on his own. Armed with a bank loan, Zhu bought equipment from Germany and started out building the firm into China's largest juice company.

Zhu says Huiyuan's success is due to its very focused management team.

"For the past 16 years, we've only done one thing - juice," Zhu said. "Nothing but juice."

Huiyuan is now the dominant player in China's high-margin pure-juice market, with a 42.6 percent market share. It is also No 1 in the nectar market, with a 39.6 percent share.

"They are the markets that Coca-Cola has always been wanting to go into," CIMB-GK research analyst Renee Tai said.

Coca-Cola's current juice business in the mainland is focused on lower-end, diluted juice drinks, such as the Minute Maid Pulpy product.

Coca-Cola has offered to pay HK$12.20 in cash for each outstanding share of Huiyuan. The offer values the juicemaker at almost three times its last trading price of HK$4.14 before the announcement.

Zhu, who will be retained as honorary chairman of Huiyuan after the takeover, is set to receive HK$7.55 billion, based on his stake of about 40 percent.

Investors in the company's February 2007 initial public offering, which was 1,000 times oversubscribed, will get a 103 percent return on their initial investment of HK$6 per share.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group is the sole financial adviser to Coca-Cola on the deal. Huiyuan is being advised by Goldman Sachs.

The proposal has already been accepted by major shareholders, representing a 66 percent interest in Huiyuan, including Zhu and strategic investors Danone and Warburg Pincus Private Equity. The takeover is subject to approval from the Ministry of Commerce.
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