Feb 06

Hong-Kong

- What you can learn from the founders of Hong Kong (Sovereign Man, Feb 5, 2014):

 As you may know, I’m an avid reader. I devour especially historical accounts of any kind, because I consider lessons of history to be invaluable. As the Latin proverb says: Historia magistra vitae est—history is life’s teacher.

One of my all-time favorite books is a novel by James Clavell, Tai-pan. It’s the second book in his series of six novels known as The Asian Saga—a fictional account of historical facts.

Continue reading »

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Nov 06

And why does it take 7 years to repatriate 19 % of  Germany’s gold reserves?

- Bundesbank to Repatriate 674 Tons of Gold to Germany by 2020 (Bloomberg, Jan 16, 2013):

The Bundesbank will repatriate 674 metric tons of gold from vaults in Paris and New York by 2020 to restore public confidence in the safety of Germany’s reserves.

The phased relocation of the gold, currently worth about 27 billion euros ($36 billion), will begin this year and result in half of Germany’s reserves being stored in Frankfurt by the end of the decade, the Bundesbank said in a statement today. It will bring home all 374 tons of its gold held at the Banque de France and a further 300 tons from the New York Federal Reserve, it said. Holdings at the Bank of England will remain unchanged.

And the other  50%???

Flashback:

Back in the mid-1920s, the head of the German Central Bank, Herr Hjalmar Schacht, went to New York to see Germany’s gold. However the NY Fed officials were unable to find the palette of Germany’s gold bullion. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Strong was mortified, but to put him at ease Herr Schacht turned to him and said ‘Never mind, I believe you when you when you say the gold is there. Even if it weren’t you are good for its replacement.’ (H/T The Real Asset Company)
Source: The Germans Don’t Trust Obama With Their Gold – And Can You Blame Them? (Telegraph, Jan 18, 2013)

Aaaannd it’s gone …


Google translation:

- Hedge fund managers: The Gold of the Bundesbank’s gone (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, July 21, 2013):

The hedge fund manager William Kaye says it’s naive to think that the Federal Reserve would their bearings in the U.S. gold reserves ever get back. The former “German” Gold is no longer as such. U.S. banks have received from the Fed in order to suppress the gold price. The gold stocks entering the market. “Germany will never again see the gold,” said Kaye.

Continue reading »

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Jul 12

- Gold Borrowing Costs Hit Post-Lehman High – Hong Kong Jewellers And Banks Face Supply Issues (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2013)

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Jul 02

- Bird Flu Leads to Ban on Arkansas Poultry (5News, June 26, 2013):

Arkansas poultry has been banned in Russia, Japan and Hong Kong — and in Mississippi and Georgia — after bird flu was discovered last week at a Scott County farm, a state official said Wednesday (June 26).

In addition to those places banning the sale of Arkansas poultry, China is in discussions with state officials also about a possible ban, said Preston Scroggin, director of the state Livestock and Poultry Commission.

Continue reading »

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Jun 24

- Moody’s Retaliates At Hong Kong For Snowden Insubordination (ZeroHedge, June 24, 2013):

Uncle Warren appears unhappy with the humiliating can of whoop-ass Hong Kong unleashed on his favorite crony banana republic. So he has retaliated in the only way he knows: Moody’s.

  • HONG KONG BANKING SYSTEM OUTLOOK REVISED TO NEGATIVE BY MOODY’S
  • MOODY’S CITES CONCERNS ON PERSISTENT NEG REAL INTEREST RATES
  • MOODY’S CITES POTENTIAL HK ‘PROPERTY BUBBLES’ – this one is really good.

But the best reason is:

  • MOODY’S CITES HK BANKS’ GROWING EXPOSURES TO MAINLAND CHINA

Yup. Moody’s just figured out Hong Kong has exposure to… China. Of course, Hong Kong’s downgrade of US foreign policy to laughably pathetic, outlook hilarious on Sunday, was a complete coincidence.

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Jun 23

He obviously doesn’t want to end up like Bradley Manning.


Update: NSA Leaker Seeks Asylum in Ecuador (ABC News, June 23, 2013):

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who faces espionage charges for disclosing secret U.S. government anti-terrorism programs, has requested asylum in Ecuador, according to the country’s foreign minister.

“The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden,” Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca tweeted today hours after a plane believed to be carrying Snowden landed in Moscow from Hong Kong, where Snowden had been hiding. 

- WikiLeaks: Snowden going to Ecuador to seek asylum (The Seattle Times, June 23, 2013):

MOSCOW — Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says a former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs is going to Ecuador to seek asylum. The group said in a statement Sunday that Edward Snowden is “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”

- Snowden on the run, seeks asylum in Ecuador (CNN, June 23, 2013)

- Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, reportedly lands in Moscow (Washington Post, June 23, 2013)

- Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum (NPR, June 23, 2013)

- Snowden examined by Ecuadorian embassy doctor at Moscow airport upon arrival – RT source (RT, June 23, 2013):

The plane carrying whistleblower Edward Snowden has landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The former CIA contractor, who left Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition on espionage charges, is on his way to a ‘third country’ via Russia.

RT’s source reported a doctor from the Ecuadorian embassy in Moscow has examined Snowden on his arrival.

Earlier on Sunday, a spokesperson from the Hong Kong government confirmed that Edward Snowden had “legally and voluntarily” left the country.

“Mr. Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel,” said the Hong Kong government in a press release. The statement also said the documents for Snowden’s extradition submitted by Washington “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”

“As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

WikiLeaks legal aidWhistleblowing organization WikiLeaks has rallied behind Snowden and said they are assisting him in his bid for political asylum in a “democratic country.” The group announced on Twitter that they helped obtain “travel documents” and ensured his safe exit from Hong Kong. Diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks legal team were also accompanying the NSA leaker on his flight to Moscow, WikiLeaks said in a statement.

- Snowden exit: Hong Kong revels in its rule of law (AFP, June 23, 2013)

- UPDATE 1-US lawmakers slam Russia for abetting Snowden flight (Reuters, June 23, 2013):

HONG KONG — Hong Kong has risked the threat of US reprisals in allowing Edward Snowden to leave. But its government insists that the rule of law took primacy for a territory that jealously guards its separateness from mainland China.

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Jun 22

Related info:

- 3 NSA Veterans Speak Out On Whistleblower Edward Snowden: We Told You So (USA Today)

- NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake: Snowden Saw What I Saw: Surveillance Criminally Subverting The Constitution


- U.S. seeks Snowden’s extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly (Reuters, June 22, 2013):

The United States pressured Hong Kong on Saturday to act quickly on its request to extradite Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor charged with espionage for exposing secret U.S. surveillance activities.

“If Hong Kong doesn’t act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong’s commitment to the rule of law,” a senior Obama administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Sources say Snowden, who has been hiding in Hong Kong, has sought legal representation from human rights lawyers as he prepares to fight attempts to force him back to the United States to face trial.

U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told CBS News the United States had a “good case” against Snowden and expected Hong Kong to comply with its 1998 extradition treaty with the United States.

“We have gone to the Hong Kong authorities seeking extradition of Snowden back to the United States,” Donilon said.

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

Ex-CIA operative wants to remain in Hong Kong


Edward Snowden has spoken exclusively to the South China Morning Post

- Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’ (South China Morning Post, June 12, 2013):

Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.

The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.

Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.

“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.

Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.

“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.

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Jun 10

- In Hong Kong, ex-CIA man may not escape U.S. reach (Reuters, June 10, 2013):

Edward Snowden’s decision to flee to Hong Kong as he prepared to expose the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs may not save him from prosecution due to an extradition treaty in force since 1998.

A 29-year-old former CIA employee, Snowden has identified himself as the person who gave the Guardian and the Washington Post classified documents about how the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) obtained data from U.S. telecom and Internet companies.

Continue reading »

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Jun 02

Full article here:

- It’s A “0.6%” World: Who Owns What Of The $223 Trillion In Global Wealth (ZeroHedge, June 2, 2013):

Back in 2010 we started an annual series looking at the (re)distribution in the wealth of nations and social classes. What we found then (and what the media keeps rediscovering year after year to its great surprise) is that as a result of global central bank policy, the rich got richer, and the poor kept on getting poorer, even though as we predicted the global political powers would, at least superficially, seek to enforce policies that aimed to reverse this wealth redistribution from the poor to the rich (a doomed policy as the world’s legislative powers are largely in the lobby pocket of the world’s wealthiest who needless to say are less then willing to enact laws that reduce their wealth and leverage). Now that the topic of wealth distribution (or rather concentration) is once again in vogue, below we present the latest such update looking at a global portrait of household wealth. The bottom line: 29 million, or 0.6% of those with any actual assets under their name, own $87.4 trillion, or 39.3% of all global assets.

Here are the key highlights via Credit Suisse:

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May 26

- Mystery Surrounding Collapse Of Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Deepens; Four Arrested (ZeroHedge, May 26, 2013)

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Jan 28

- Radioactive tea leaves are exported from Japan to Hongkong (Fukushima Diary, Jan 27, 2013)

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Jan 23

- Asian Buyers Snap Up Half of New London Homes (Wall Street Journal, Jan 22, 2013):

If you’ve just moved into a newly built apartment in central London, don’t be perplexed if your neighbors speak mostly Chinese.

Market-cooling measures in Asia have helped fuel interest in London’s real estate market—long a popular destination for property buyers on the prowl, says property consultancy Knight Frank. Last year, overseas buyers spent $3.5 billion on apartments undergoing construction in central London, up 22% from the year earlier.

Together, buyers from Singapore and Hong Kong snapped up nearly 40% of all such apartments in central London. Adding in buyers from Malaysia and mainland China, Asian buyers accounted for roughly half of all purchases. By comparison, U.K. buyers made up just 27% of all purchases of apartments under construction, according to Knight Frank’s latest figures. Such figures were generally consistent with those seen in 2011.

Continue reading »

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Dec 13

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
- Alan Greenspan

“By a continuing process of inflation , governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
- John Maynard Keynes

Quantitative easing = printing money = creating money out of thin air = increasing the money supply = inflation = hidden tax on monetary assets = theft!


- First Hong Kong, Now Aussie Central Bank Gets Ugly Case Of Truthiness (ZeroHedge, Dec 12, 2012):

It seems the AsiaPac central bankers did not get the ‘shut up and print’ memo as today during another speech, an Australian central banker followed Hong Kong’s lead and pronounced quantitative easing as potentially harmful and the volatility-dampening effects of excess monetary policy as “ultimately inimical to financial stability and hence macroeconomic stability.” In the speech below Glenn Stevens (RBA Governor) provides some much-needed doses of sanity to the grossly addicted world desirous of moar money printing.

Central banks can provide liquidity to shore up financial stability and they can buy time for borrowers to adjust, but they cannot, in the end, put government finances on a sustainable course… They can’t shield people from the implications of having mis-assessed their own lifetime budget constraints and therefore having consumed too much.

Why are these AsiaPac bankers breaking ranks with the status quo? Perhaps they see a looming threat and prefer to front-run their governments’ demands to “get to work”.

Must Read:

Challenges Of Central Banking – Glenn Stevens (RBA Governor)

Monday marked the 70th anniversary of the commencement of operations of the Bank of Thailand, on 10 December 1942. Conceived under war-time occupation, the Bank has grown to be a key institution in Thailand. It is a pleasure and an honour to come to Bangkok to take part in one of a series of events to mark the anniversary, and I want to thank Governor Prasarn for the invitation. Continue reading »

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Dec 12

FYI.


- The Federal Reserve Cartel: Part III: The Roundtable & the Illuminati (Veterans Today, Dec 10, 2012):

According to former British intelligence agent John Coleman’s book, The Committee of 300, the Rothschilds exert political control through the secretive Business Roundtable, which they created in 1909 with the help of Lord Alfred Milner and South African industrialist Cecil Rhodes.  The Rhodes Scholarship is granted by Oxford University, while oil industry propagandist Cambridge Energy Research Associates operates out of the Rhodes-supported Cambridge University.

Rhodes founded De Beers and Standard Chartered Bank.  According to Gary Allen’s expose, The Rockefeller Files, Milner financed the Russian Bolsheviks on Rothschild’s behalf, with help from Jacob Schiff and Max Warburg.

Continue reading »

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Nov 30

- The Latest Bubble: Hong Kong Parking Space Sells For Double Average US Home Price (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2012):

After recently selling the most expensive per-square-foot residential property in the world recently, the liquidity slooshing around the world has been modestly stymied by Hong Kong’s curbs on home-buying in the world’s most expensive market. But there is always a greater fool to sell to, right? So, that Fed-sponsored liquidity has found a new yield-grabbing spot – parking spaces! Average HK parking space prices have started to surge (up 6.7% in Q3) to its second highest on record and as Bloomberg Businessweek notes, a parking space in the exclusive Repulse Bay are sold for $387,000 (yes, that’s a place to park your car; and no, it doesn’t come with a happy ending) – double the average US home price! “There’s just too much liquidity in the market,” said Simon Lo, Hong Kong-based executive director of research and advisory at property broker Colliers International. “The government has set up a firewall for residential properties, but all this money still needs to find a place.” Once again we are reminded of the Fed mantra – repeat in monotone: ‘there is no inflation and money-printing has no adverse effect’. Continue reading »

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Nov 13

- “Hot Money” At Boiling Point: Hong Kong Apartment Sells For Record $8773 Per Square Foot, New Asian Record (ZeroHedge, Nov 13, 2012):

Over the past year, one of the more confounding developments has been the relentless surge higher in the Chinese currency, whose unpegged version has soared to multi-decade highs against the USD, even as the economy has been mired in a downward secular shift with various indicators showing an ongoing decline. The reason for this “hot money” phenomenon is the easy money policy adopted by all the world’s central banks (except for the PBOC of course, which is forced to stick with reverse repo-based ultra short-term money injections), coupled with the anti-foreign capital stance adopted by Switzerland, making China, Hong Kong and Singapore as the go to targets for “excess global cash.” And as long as the hot money continues to flow and keep the inflation threat “on the sidelines”, all attempts to cool its notwithstanding, the PBOC will be unable to ease, and allow US tech companies’ stock prices to finally rise, as their profitability is and has always been a reflection of Chinese end-market demand. By the looks of things, the PBOC will be stuck in a holding pattern for a long time, as just confirmed by the sale of a luxury Hong-Kong 6,683 sq. foot apartment in the Gehry-designed Opus Hong Kong in Mid-Levels East, at a price of HK$455 million, which translates to HK$68,000 per square foot, or just under $8,800: a new all time record for Asia. So much for cooling the hot money.

From South China Morning Post:

A buyer has paid HK$68,083 per square foot for a luxury flat at Opus Hong Kong, the new Frank Gehry-designed residential building in Mid-Levels East, a record for an apartment in Hong Kong and Asia in terms of price per square foot.

Continue reading »

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Sep 08

- Name The New Reserve Currency: China Imports More Gold In 2012 Than All ECB Holdings (ZeroHedge, Aug 8, 2012):

The last time we looked at monthly Chinese imports of gold from Hong Kong in 2012, the comparable country in question was Portugal (whose citizens, if not central bank, incidentally have run out of gold to sell), because that is whose total gold holdings (at 382.5 tons) Chinese imports had just surpassed. Fast forward a month later, and the update is even more disturbing. In July, Chinese gold imports from HK, after two months of declines, have picked up once more and hit a 3-month high of 75.8 tons. While it is notable that this number is double the 38.1 tons imported a year prior, and that year-to-date imports are now a record 458.6 tons, well over four times greater than the seven month total in 2011 which was 103.9 tons, what is far more important is that in the first seven months of 2012 alone China has imported nearly as much gold as the total holdings of the hedge fund at the heart of the Eurozone, elsewhere known simply as the European Central Bank, and just as importantly considering the import run-rate has hardly slowed down in August, which data we will have in a few weeks, it is now safe to say that in 2012 alone China has imported more gold than the ECB’s entire official 502.1 tons of holdings.

What is most amusing is that China, via the IMF, still wants the world to believe that total Chinese official holdings are just 1040 tons (double the ECB’s), when it has imported half this amount in 2012 alone. Continue reading »

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Aug 04

- Radioactive tea voluntarily surrendered to Hong Kong authorities — 196 Bq/kg of cesium, almost double Japan’s limit (ENENews, Aug 3, 2012):

Nuclear Event Daily Update
Hong Kong
August 2, 2012

Tea bag

  • Sampled on June 8, 2012
  • Cs134= 76 Bq/kg
  • Cs137 = 120 Bq/kg
  • Total Cesium = 196 Bq/kg
  • Not exceeding Codex guideline levels
  • Voluntary surrendered by importer for disposal. Not distributed for sale in local market.

Continue reading »

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Aug 03

Source

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Jul 26

- Hong Kong Completing 1,000 Ton Gold Vault (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2012):

In Hong Kong they are completing work on its largest gold vault due to open in September which can hold 22% of the gold that is in the US facility Fort Knox.

The new secure storage facility will compete with services set up by the Airport Authority Hong Kong in 2009 that serviced governments, commodity exchanges, bullion banks, refiners, wealthy individuals and exchange-traded funds.

The new facility is within the international airport compound and its capacity is 1,000 metric tons.

This signals the growing interest from China currently the world’s second largest consumer of gold in owning physical gold bullion.

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May 08

- As China Buys, Sellers Push Gold Down To 4 Month Lows (ZeroHedge, May 8, 2012):

Gold just lost the $1600 handle for the first time since January 5th and is suffering its biggest one-day loss in over two months as Europe’s meltdown is driving broad liquidations. Are hungry Chinese central bankers more than happy to soak up the precious metal at a discount from levered longs liquidating into the European fiasco?


Chart: Bloomberg

- “Uncivilized” China Quietly Building Gold Reserves As Gold Imports From HK Soar By 587% In First Quarter (ZeroHedge, May 8, 2012):

A month ago we ended up with the hilarious situation where the US was actively considering releasing petroleum from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve even as China was demonstratively and concurrently adding to its strategic inventory. Now, as the developed world is seeing day after day of gold hammering on amusing flights of fancy that central banks won’t be forced to engage in more and ever bigger rounds of monetary dilution, and where the seller apparently has no regard for getting a “good” price, but merely seeks to crash the bid stack slams various PM prices, we see the same inversion with gold. Because as Bloomberg reports, “Mainland China’s gold imports from Hong Kong surged more than sixfold in the first quarter, to 156 metric tons, adding to signs that the country may displace India as the world’s largest consumer of the precious metal on an annual basis.” And the punchline: “The purchases through Hong Kong may signal that the mainland is accumulating reserves, London-based brokerage Sharps Pixley Ltd. said in February. The nation last made its reserves known more than two years ago, stating them at 1,054 tons.” Yep ladies and gents: the PBOC is very grateful that it can add hundreds of tons of gold to its reserve holdings in a stealthy operation which it will announce only after its conclusion, at which point, like true 13F chasing lemmings, retail will send gold soaring. But in the meantime, dear hedge funds worried about your margin calls and 1 month performance reports, please proceed calmly along with the lemming herd, and keep pushing gold lower and cheaper for our new Chinese overlords, and for everyone else who, without P&L timing constraints, takes delight in such brief arbitrage opportunities.

From Bloomberg:

Imports from Hong Kong were 135,529 kilograms (135.53 metric tons) between January and March, from 19,729 kilograms in the year-earlier period, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government. Shipments in March rose 59 percent from February, yesterday’s data showed.

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Hong Kong to Resume Import of Meat, Eggs from Fukushima and Other Affected Areas (EX-SKF, March 23, 2012):

Hong Kong will resume importing the meat and eggs from Fukushima Prefecture and 4 other prefectures in Kanto most affected by the nuclear fallout.

Why? Because there will be an official government piece of paper accompanying the meat, attesting the safety from radiation contamination. Bureaucrats will be bureaucrats, whether it’s Japan or Hong Kong. Formality is all that matters.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (3/23/2012):

東京電力福島第一原子力発電所事故の影響で香港への輸出が規制されている福島県など5県産の食肉と卵の輸出が再開される見通しとなった。

Export of meat and eggs to Hong Kong from 5 prefectures including Fukushima will resume shortly. The export was halted after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

鹿野農相が23日の閣議後記者会見で明らかにした。輸出に必要な検査証明書の書式が決まったためで、今後1週間程度の手続きを経て再開される。

Minister of Agriculture Kano disclosed the news during the press conference after the cabinet meeting on March 23. The format of the inspection certificate has been agreed upon, and the export will resume in about one week.

日本の農林水産物の香港向け輸出額は1111億円(2011年)と全体の約4分の1を占め、国・地域別で最も多い。香港への輸出再開は、同様の理由で輸入を規制している中国の判断にも影響を与えそうだ。

Hong Kong is the largest market for Japanese agricultural and marine products. In 2011, the amount was 111.1 billion yen, one-quarter of the total export. Resumption of export to Hong Kong may affect the decision by China, who has halted import from Japan for the same reason.

Continue reading »

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May 28

- Hong Kong finds radioactive iodine in fish (AFP, May 28, 2011):

A SMALL amount of radioactive iodine-131 has been found in a sample of fish taken from a wholesale market in Hong Kong, the Government said today.

Hong Kong has been monitoring radiation levels in the city’s food and water supply and atmosphere in the wake of the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power station.

Continue reading »

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Sep 03

If you know that the greatest financial & economic collapse in world history is coming then this move makes perfect sense.


In a challenge to London, Asian states invited to store bullion closer to home

gold-vault-in-london
Gold vault in London

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong is pulling all its physical gold holdings from depositories in London, transferring them to a high-security depository newly built at the city’s airport, in a move that won praise from local traders Thursday.

The facility, industry professionals said, would support Hong Kong’s emergence as a Swiss-style trading hub for bullion and would lessen London’s status as a key settlement-and-storage center.

“Having a central government-sponsored vault would create a situation where you could conceivably look at Hong Kong as being a hub, where metal could be traded for the region,” said Sunil Kashyap, managing director at Scotia Capital in Hong Kong, adding that the facility was the first with official government backing in the region.

Continue reading »

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Nov 06

Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund, the city’s compulsory retirement savings plan, may be headed for its largest annual loss since inception after declining 15 percent between April and September.

Net asset values of MPF dropped to HK$223.8 billion ($28.9 billion) at the end of September, from HK$248.2 billion in April, according to the latest statistics posted on the Web site of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority Oct. 31. The fund covers more than two-thirds of the 3.5 million employees and self-employed workers in the city.

Hong Kong, which doesn’t have a universal government pension plan like the Social Security in the U.S., started MPF in December 2000 to provide a basic safety net for the city’s elderly, as the portion of people over 65 is projected to more than double to 27 percent of the population by 2033 over 2004.

Continue reading »

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Nov 01

Hong Kong investors protest Lehman Brothers losses

HONG KONG – Angry Hong Kong investors, some banging gongs and others waving banners, scuffled outside a bank on Friday as frustration mounted over losses tied to investments linked to failed U.S. bank Lehman Brothers.

Several hundred investors, many of them elderly retirees, marched to eight banks which had sold Lehman structured products, including ABN Amro, Standard Chartered, Bank of China, Citic Ka Wah and DBS bank, demanding compensation for their losses.

Some investors tried to barge into a DBS bank branch on Hong Kong island, jostling with security staff who linked arms to form a human barricade.


Lehman Brothers mini-bonds holders scuffle with officials during a protest against various banks which sold them the product in Hong Kong Friday.

“The banks are cheating us,” shouted some investors, while others banged gongs and waved protest banners accusing the banks of misleading investors on the risks involved.

Continue reading »

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Apr 19

BEIJING (Reuters) – Fifty-six Chinese fishermen were missing on Friday as a typhoon bore down on the southern resort island of Hainan which state media said was the earliest to threaten the region in decades and may well be the strongest.

The fishermen were taking shelter near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and had not been heard from since Thursday evening, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Hainan and the neighboring province of Guangdong are braced for Typhoon Neoguri, the first of the year, with almost 22,000 fishing boats having been called back to harbor as the storm skirted Vietnam.

“Neoguri will be the earliest typhoon of the season to affect the south China region since the founding of new China in 1949,” Chen Lei, deputy commander of the State Headquarters of Flood Control and Drought Relief, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The storm was expected to be “one of the strongest in history” to hit the region, Xinhua said.

Typhoon tracker Tropical Storm Risk labeled the storm as category two in a scale up to five, with maximum sustained winds of 96-110 miles per hour. Continue reading »

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Mar 06

LONDON (AFP) – European equities dived on Monday after heavy falls earlier in Asia as markets were gripped by growing concern that the US economy was slipping into recession, dealers said.

Stock markets in Europe and the United States had sunk late last week following signs that the fallout from the US credit crisis was far from over.

In late morning European trade on Monday, Frankfurt, London and Paris stock markets chalked up fresh losses of about 1.5 percent.

Asian stocks plunged earlier Monday with Tokyo ending down almost 4.5 percent, Hong Kong tumbled 3.07 percent and Seoul gave up 2.3 percent. Singapore and Sydney both shed about 3.0 percent.

“Not a great start to the week with the UK following falls in the US Friday and Asia today,” said Mike Lenhoff, strategist at brokerage Brewin Dolphin.

“What matters most to investors is what is happening in the US. Investors view the US as in recession or going into recession which is not good news for corporate earnings and the market.”

tokyo.jpg Continue reading »

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