Friday, January 14, 2011

HK remains freest economy as lead slips

[Hong Kong Standard, Jan 13 2011]

“Hong Kong remains the freest economy in the world for the 17th straight year but Singapore is hot on its heels, the Heritage Foundation said.

The Economic Freedom Index, released yesterday by the conservative think tank and Wall Street Journal ranks 183 countries and places on 10 measures for openness, rule of law and competitiveness.

While Hong Kong's score is unchanged at 89.7 out of 100, Singapore gained 1.1 points on financial freedom.

"There is a possibility Singapore may overtake Hong Kong in the near future as the state has more room for improvement in banking," said Terry Miller, the US foundation's index editor, adding Hong Kong's major drawback is an oversized fiscal surplus.

"There's no reason the government should have a surplus more than the monetary base," said Hugo Restall, editorial page editor for Wall Street Journal Asia. That surplus, he said, should be cut by at least half and the profits tax rate trimmed to 15 percent.

Hong Kong declined in government spending and labor freedom.

The mainland came in as "mostly unfree" at 135 and a score that is lower than averages for the world and Asia.”

With the minimum wage legislation implemented and major revisions of the Company Law under way, our business community is keeping an watchful eye on impact of such to the dynamics of our market.

Friday, January 7, 2011


爭論多時的最低工資水平正式落實,立法會昨日大比數否決廢除最低工資水平定在時薪 28元的議案,換言之,本港首個最低工資水平將按政府建議訂在時薪 28元, 5月 1日生效。

立法會昨審議最低工資三條附屬法例,部份議員提出動議廢除最低工資時薪 28元議案、將最低工資實施日期由 5月 1日推前至 2月 1日,以及將僱主保存工資紀錄月薪上限由 11,500元提高至 20,000元,三項修訂同樣被否決。

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Banks to join Loan Scheme for Small & Medium Enterprises

[Hong Kong Standard, Jan 3 2011] "Ten banks have signed deals with the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation to participate in a financing plan for local small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The corporation's SME financing guarantee scheme helps non-listed local companies obtain loans from banks, beginning this month.

The money can be used as general working capital or to acquire assets.

The corporation will guarantee 50 to 70 percent of bank loans for eligible companies - up to HK$12 million for a firm for a maximum of five years.

"Administrative fees will be waived for SMEs that join the scheme before the end of June," said a spokesperson for Bank of East Asia.

"The scheme can provide some buffer to the market, to protect SMEs," said Alex Cheung Kin-sang, DBS (Hong Kong) managing director. A source said SMEs need time to study the details."

For more details about the loan scheme or participating banks, please contact our customer service team at Synergy Business Centre at (852)28041628 or .