HKGCC: Rating agencies have “questionable credibility”

The biggest and oldest business association in Asia’s financial capital dismisses the rating agencies by referring to their black history during 2008 Wall Street credit crunch. Also: Jeffrey Lam’s return to LegCo and the newly elected General Committee’s diversity profile.


The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) took issue with with the decision of the rating agencies that downgraded Hong Kong and China’s outlook sovereign credit rating, calling the entire system of credit ratings and the agencies into question.  

 

HKGCC is Moody, says Standards are Poor

Jeffrey Lam (林健鋒) (second left of the photo), the LegCo Commercial (First) FC member representing the HKGCC, went Hollywood and cited the Oscar winning movie, The Big Short, and its critique of the rating agencies, noting, in his words, ‘their previous records during the credit crunch reflect their questionable credibility.”

He was sharing the podium at the HKGCC AGM with Chairman Pang Yiu-kai (彭耀佳) (second right of the photo) and CEO Shirley Yuen (袁莎妮) (first right of the photo). Many of the HKGCC’s Board members and constituent firms are publicly  listed and rated by said agencies, affecting their access to capital.

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded both Hong Kong and China’s sovereign credit rating in March. Two rating agencies are concerned with the Chinese economic downturn and debt risk of Chinese enterprises in both Hong Kong and China. For their downgrade of Hong Kong, Moody’s and S&P agree the growing political and policy interference of Beijing in Hong Kong is a negative factor to the future of Hong Kong.

Mr Pang, the departing Chairman of HKGCC as well as CEO of Hongkong Land, emphasised the downgrade by just one or two rating agencies would not affect the status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.

“Sovereign rating is not the only factor for financial institutions’ consideration in lending money to Hong Kong companies, but also the judicial framework, capital flow policies and financial regulation,” Mr Pang explains. “Hong Kong and China have close economic and trading connections, and the policy of One Belt One Road’ would help Hong Kong and China explore more business potential.”

 

Jeffrey Lam’s return to LegCo

Mr Lam, who just simply says he will work for his best in his remaining days in the current LegCo, does not reveal whether he will run for his re-election in September LegCo election, while Mr Pang, who is satisfied with Mr Lam’s performance in LegCo, publicly support Mr Lam’s re-election campaign.

Mr Pang is to be succeeded by Stephen Ng (吳天海), the Chairman and Managing Director of The Wharf.

 

Diverse-ish

The Chamber’s  General Committee includes two women. They are former Vice Chair Betty Yuen (Group Director & Vice Chairman – CLP Power Hong Kong) and newly elected Vice Chair Agnes Chan (Managing Partner, Hong Kong & Macau, Ernst & Young).

Five members of minorities made the cut, including Deputy Chairman Aron Harilela, Nicholas Brooke, Manohar Chugh, John Slosar and Allan Zeman (who, although Chinese, is almost certainly not Han. Almost certainly.).

The full roster is:

Chairman: Stephen Ng

Deputy Chairman: Aron Harilela (夏雅朗)

Vice Chairmen: Agnes Chan (陳瑞娟), Victor Li (李澤鉅), Peter Wong (王冬勝)

LegCo Representative: Jeffrey Lam

General Committee Members:

Nicholas Brooke (蒲祿祺), Oscar Chow (周維正), Manohar Chugh (文路祝), Allen Fung (馮玉麟), Stanley Hui (許漢忠), Benjamin Hung (洪丕正), Ronald Lee (李頌培), David Lie (李大壯), Pang Yiu-kai, John Slosar (史樂山), Leland Sun (孫立勳), James Tien (田北俊), Anthony Wu (胡定旭), Yue Yi (岳毅), Emil Yu (于健安), Yu Pang-Chun (余鵬春), Edmond Yue (楊德斌), Betty Yuen (阮蘇少媚) and Allan Zeman (盛智文).

Benny Kwok

Benny Kwok

Benny Kwok is a Harbour Times journalist following Hong Kong affairs, especially targeting political and business inner circles. He earned his bachelor’s degree majoring International Studies in City University of Hong Kong, and obtained his master degree of Asian and International Studies in CityU of HK also. He worked for Hong Kong Economic Journal (HKEJ) as the International News Reporter before joining HT.
Benny Kwok