China reveals 8.9% stake in HSBC
Wednesday 02 September 1998
The stake - amassed in the course of an unprecedented $100bn support operation to fend off speculative attacks against the Hong Kong dollar over recent weeks - will raise fears of "backdoor nationalisation" by the Chinese. It gives the Hong Kong government, now an offshoot of the Chinese People's Republic, considerable leverage over the bank if it should chose to use it.
More than $58bn was spent on Friday alone as the Hong Kong authorities threw down the gauntlet to George Soros and other well-known hedge fund operators who are betting that the dollar peg, a cornerstone of Hong Kong's economic policy since 1983 is about to go.
In a statement released last night after the close of London trading, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said it had 13.23 per cent of HSBC's Hong Kong shares. When the London traded shares are included, that comes down to 8.9 per cent.
HSBC, which moved its primary listing to London when it acquired the Midland, partly to forestall the threat of meddling by the Chinese authorities once the former British colony reverted to Chinese control, said last night that it saw no reason to comment on the shareholding.
The Hong Kong authorities have refused to give any indication about what they plan to do with their shareholding. However, there are bound to be fears about their intentions.
The government is believed to have picked up similarly sized stakes in other big Hong Kong corporations, including Swire Pacific and Cheung Kong, the property company and vehicle of one of Hong Kong's largest entrepreneurs Li-Ka Shing, as well as Hong Kong Telecom, whose biggest shareholder is Cable & Wireless.
The Hong Kong government has now called a halt to its buying. Financial Secretary Donald Tsang said the next step would be to tighten regulations on share and futures dealing.
"We've accomplished what we set out to do," he said.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...