¡¶International Investment Express¡·
service to be opened in HK
By LIU WEIFENG
To open Renminbi services in Hong Kong banks
is becoming more urgent than ever before in
the wake of the signing of Closer Economic Partnership
Arrangements (CEPA) and the drawing in the individual
mainland tourists to Hong Kong.
A researcher with the Bank of China's International
Finance Institute, said that the co-operation
scheme on finance issue between the mainland
and Hong Kong cannot go further without the
finding of the outlet for the 70 billion yuan
(US$8.4 billion) circulating now in Hong Kong.
Tung Chee-hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong
Special Administration Region announced the
end of last month, after finishing his report
for his work back from Beijing, that the People's
Bank of China is positively discussing the possibility
of opening the Renminbi services in Hong Kong,
including deposits, remittance, exchanges and
credit card services.
The announcement revealed a glimpse of light
for the currency holders and the financial circles
in Hong Kong.
The news also serves as a big strike to the
local underground illegal currency exchange
dealers--most by money laundering.
Tung said, Hong Kong is to be put on the preferential
place by the mainland banking decision-makers
as Renminbi offshore finance centre.
Offshore finance refers mainly to banking businesses
operating outside the official territory of
At the same time, the news has also been confirmed
by Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong
Monetary Authority and Frederick Ma Si-hang,
secretary for the Financial Services and the
The trial policy of traveling to Hong Kong individually
for mainland visitors, from another aspect mirrors
the possibility and signs of opening the services.
Otherwise, the current Hong Kong banks have
no qualified digesting capacity for such enormous
flows in of the currency.
Insiders said that a Li Yang-headed group is
about to board to Hong Kong in a kind of low-profile
visit by the end of this month to research for
the theory framework and support for the co-operation
details on finance area concerning the both
sides. Li is a researcher with the Chinese Academy
of Social Sciences.
According to the China News Agency reports,
China Banking Regulatory Commission and the
China Security Regulatory Commission will go
the Hong Kong, too, almost at the same time
Insiders predicted that the preliminary regulations
and rules for the Renminbi offshore finance
centre is expected to be come out by the end
of this year.
Otherwise, the day by day increasing currency
exchanging stores will pose a big splash to
the normal function of Hong Kong banks.
According to Hong Kong Public Security Bureau,
up to the end of 2002, the registered such stores
has surpassed 700.
In fact, some of the stores are dealing with
businesses beyond currency exchanges and even
parts of the Hong Kong-based banks now secretly
open the Renminbi deposits and loans services.
"It's a must,'' said a banker in Hong Kong.
But the question is, the open of such services
in Hong Kong will definitely be a fatal blow
to the mainland commercial banks, since whose
interest rate mechanism plays differently with
that of the Hong Kong banks.
While to the central government, the difference
of the interest rate is easy leading to the
arbitrage activities, resulting in the unstable
status of Renminbi.
And the fast flows of the capitals outside the
mainland, is easy to trigger the losing power
and independence of the domestic monetary policy.
However, most of the financial researchers are
optimistic on the issue and believe that the
opening services will bring more commercial
opportunities to Hong Kong and be a certain
drive to other related industries.
giant holds annual meeting in Xiamen
By DUAN RUOLAN
The world's largest hotel chain Best Western International
Inc, which has 4,060 hotels around the globe until
the beginning of this year, held its Asian region
sales meeting in Xiamen of Southeast China's Fujian
province on August 14-17.
Participants from such countries and regions as Japan,
South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong
and Macao reached the consensus that international
big brands should further promote their names in the
dynamic Asia-Pacific region and individual hotels
can multiple their force by joining a world celebrate
After entering the Asia-Pacific region two years ago,
Best Western is taking efficient measures, including
periodical and frequent training, to consolidate its
competition with the counterparts.
The world tourism sector is optimistic on the industry
potential in Xiamen which contributes to the international
brand hotel's decision to hold its sales meeting in
the city for the first time, according to Glenn de
Souza, managing director-Asia sales of Best Western.
Being a host city of the coming seventh China International
Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), Xiamen is attracting
a steady increasing number of overseas tourists, particularly
travelers from Japan and South Korea.
Having confidence in making even bigger profits on
the Chinese market, Best Western launched its first
hotel, its Xiamen Central Hotel, in the Chinese mainland
In addition to the Beijing office set up months ago,
the group is expecting to establish its Hong Kong
representative office in this September.
Currently, six franchise Best Western hotels are in
operation in China.