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Law firm leaders say technology continues to disrupt market

March 20, 2017

SYDNEY - The global legal industry is at tipping point as firms struggle to keep up with advancements in technology that continue to disrupt the market, according to a report by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO. The BDO Law Firm Leaders Survey  polled managing partners and senior partners of 50 national and international law firms in the UK, 98% of whom said the pace of change in the legal industry, driven mostly by the impact of technology, is a real cause for concern.

Yuan clearing centre to open in Moscow this week

March 21, 2017

BEIJING - Russia is to open a yuan clearing centre in Moscow this week, while the Russian Ministry of Finance plans to launch US$1 billion worth of yuan bonds, according to Russia’s central bank. The bond issuance will take place “ideally in one or two months,” Dmitry Skobelkin, Vice President of Russia’s central bank told guests at an opening ceremony for the central bank’s first overseas liaison office, which is located in Beijing.

Hong Kong adds six partner countries to automatic exchange of information

March 20, 2017

HONG KONG - On March 16, Hong Kong signed agreements with six jurisdictions - Belgium, Canada, Guernsey, Italy, Mexico and the Netherlands - to conduct automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters (AEOI). Confirmation of the date on which Hong Kong will commence exchanging information with these six jurisdictions has yet to be released.

China’s new banking regulator head lays out aggressive plan

March 10, 2017

BEIJING - When he was China’s top securities regulator, Guo Shuqing won a reputation for being one of the country’s most reform-minded officials for changes he made in stock markets that had long been plagued by Government interference and insider trading. Four years later, the 60-year-old Guo is facing equally formidable challenges as he assumes oversight of China’s RMB232 trillion (US$ 33.6 trillion) banking industry, which is burdened by rising bad loans and off-balance-sheet activities.

HK export confidence lifts, but volumes, values remain flat

March 10, 2017

HONG KONG - The economic headwinds facing Hong Kong’s exports have eased in the early part of 2017, reflecting a broad improvement across major industries. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s latest Export Index for the first quarter shows the exporter index rose to 47.1, an increase of 13.4 from the fourth quarter of 2016 - the biggest jump in recent years.

Xiaomi CEO: We’re in no rush to expand internationally

March 8, 2017

BEIJING – The Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi is in no rush to expand internationally and will expand into the overseas markets gradually, according to its Chairman and CEO, Lei Jun. "It takes time and resources to learn about and enter a new market due to different cultural, legal and business environments, and hasty expansion will cause into many problems," he said.

Chinese onshore bonds to join Citi Emerging Markets indices

March 8, 2017

HONG KONG – Citi Fixed Income Indices is to include Chinese onshore bonds in its emerging markets and regional government bond indices. Citi is also to expand its World Government Bond Index family with two new indices, the World Government Bond Index – Developed Markets (WGBI-DM) and the World Government Bond Index – Extended (WGBI-Extended), to complement the existing World Government Bond Index (WGBI), which will remain unchanged.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang denounces Hong Kong independence movement

March 6, 2017

HONG KONG - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has for the first time publicly denounced the notion of Hong Kong independence in his annual work report, warning in an addres to the annual National People’s Congress that the movement will “lead nowhere”. While Beijing’s firm rejection of such separatist sentiments is well-known, the mention of Hong Kong independence in the annual Government report was unprecedented.