Hong Kong, China (CNN) – After a divisive and fiery campaign season, Hong Kong has a new chief executive. His name is Chun-ying Leung, or C.Y, for short. He’s a 57-year old pro-Beijing politician who made his multi-millions in Hong Kong property.
But the city native inherits the leadership mantle as his hometown faces a series of unenviable economic challenges. And it’s not just Hong Kong’s financial problems he has to address - it’s also his own popularity problems. More precisely, lack thereof.
On Sunday, Leung could be seen giving the thumbs-up for victory in Sunday’s fourth chief executive election. But he’s gotten a thumbs-down in approval. The Hong Kong Standard, a local newspaper, said Leung only mustered a 40% approval rating. Compare that to the 70% rating of the two previous chief executives.
To change that, Leung said he would address a swath of economic woes after he takes over in July.
Hong Kong (CNN) – Investors have even more proof that China’s economy is slowing down.
The country’s manufacturing sector shrank for a fifth month in a row, according to HSBC’s latest China PMI survey Wednesday. That follows news of weaker industrial output from January to February.
This news shows that Beijing’s policies to slow down the economy are in fact working. But Premier Wen Jiabao – who’s been the champion of those measures – may now be asking whether they’re working a bit too well.
HSBC’s China Flash PMI came in at 48.1 point for March. Anything under 50 means a contraction. The worrying thing is that this manufacturing index has been under that 50-point mark since November. Not only that, March’s reading is the lowest in four months.
So why this continued contraction?
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – What a difference a year makes for one of Asia’s flagship airlines.
For its 2010 fiscal year, Cathay Pacific reported a record $1.8 billion in net earnings. Wednesday, it revealed a huge reversal for 2011. Its net profit slid 61% year-on-year to just about $700 million.
That multi-million dollar sum may sound good to those of us on the outside looking in, but it’s clearly a major disappointment for Hong Kong’s famous air carrier.
The reason for its big plunge in profits is two-fold.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) - If you look at China’s annual National People’s Congress, now in session, you might think this country is one of the richest in the world.
The NPC's 75 richest legislators - from a total of 3,000 - had a net worth of more than $90 billion in 2011. To put that in perspective, that’s more than half of Greece’s latest bailout of some $170 billion.
Zong Qinghou is the NPC’s richest member and China’s second-richest man, with a net worth of nearly $10.8 billion in cash and assets. If you’ve been to China, you’ve likely eaten or drunk something his company, Wahaha Group, manufactures.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – It might seem unlikely that a highly-paid NBA star and highly-caloric donuts would have anything in common. But in Asia, such a partnership could mean brand growth and better profits for both.
This week U.S. company Dunkin’ Brands - the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream stores - said it had teamed up with the NBA’s LeBron James, forward for the Miami Heat. James is now ambassador for Dunkin’ Brands to China, Taiwan, India and South Korea.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – U.S. insurance giant, American International Group, used to be the world’s largest insurer - until its spectacular fall in the 2008 financial crisis.
Now, AIG is inching back out of the darkness after its $180 billion bailout, the largest in American corporate history.
But the revival has come at a cost. AIG has sold bits of itself, including one of its most valuable possessions in Asia – the region’s third largest insurer, American International Assurance.
Hong Kong, China – After a white knight failed to come to its financial rescue Monday, Japan’s biggest memory chip maker – Elpida – filed for bankruptcy protection.
The company's been running from a $5.5 billion specter of debt, but now lays claim to the unenviable title of being the biggest Japanese manufacturer to file for bankruptcy protection since World War II.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – It’s likely that lots of people in Tinseltown are pretty happy - dare I say giddily animated. That probably includes China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping, who’s widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president of China in 2013.
That’s because Xi, wrapping up his week-long U.S. trip in Los Angeles, is expected to announce a major $2 billion silver screen deal between two Chinese firms and Dreamworks Animations - the latter famous for its witty, highly-produced and family-friendly cartoon flicks like Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Madagascar.
In focus is a huge joint venture with the U.S. animation studio involving major Chinese state-owned media companies. One is Shanghai Media Group,China’s second largest broadcaster. The other is China Media Capital, a fund that backs China’s entertainment industry.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) - Facebook may soon update its status from “private” to “public” in what will likely be the biggest tech IPO in history. Reports say the social network could file registration papers as soon as Wednesday, for an initial public offering this May.
The tech giant is aiming to raise a whopping $10 billion. That would eclipse the previous U.S. IPO tech record set by Google. In 2004, the search engine and e-mail provider, raked in just under $2 billion.
If that $10 billion goal is met, it would give Facebook a value of between $75 billion and $100 billion. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – The Yahoo co-founder and one-time CEO leaves behind disgruntled investors, upset at his handling over potentially lucrative merger deals.
The Taiwan-born Silicon Valley billionaire also leaves behind a company whose share price has tumbled 54% since its five-year high back in 2007.
And as stakeholders see Yang’s silhouette fade to black, you can bet many of them are now shouting their own “Yahoo!”
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