Here is the news from Singapore
Friday 13 December 1996
The company denies that the closure has any connection with China's resumption of sovereignty over the British colony in less than seven months' time.
"If there was to be a concern about the handover," said Phil Mellchior, Reuters Managing Director East Asia, "it's not about people in the headquarters, it's about people on the front lines". He said the Hong Kong bureau would increase in size and that Reuters was continually trying to increase its editorial presence in China.
Although the withdrawal from Hong Kong is said not to be connected to the transfer of power, the decision was sufficiently sensitive to persuade Mr Mellchior to give the Hong K ong government prior notice of Reuters' intentions.
The timing of the announce- ment was also problematic, coming just a day after the appointment of Tung Chee-hwa as head of the first post- colonial government, making Reuters vulnerable to suggestions that it was snubbing the new order. However, the move out of Hong Kong comes as part of worldwide editorial changes at Reuters and was announced as an element in this package.
Staff in Hong Kong were surprised by the move, which Mr Mellchior said had been under consideration since 1992 when Reuters purchased large pre- mises in Singapore. One employee said: "It seems awfully funny to announce this a day after Tung Chee-hwa's election."
The company must have been aware of the situation in Hong Kong because Reuters' editor-in-chief, Mark Wood, visited both the colony and China just three weeks ago and had talks with senior leaders in both places.
Other international news organisations contacted last night expressed surprise at Reuters' move and said they had no plans to move out of Hong Kong. It is, however, believed that all the major companies have contingency plans for a move should the situation deteriorate in the territory.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN TA's apply now! West Midlands
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...