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J une 2 0 1 1 • V o l 26 • N o 6

In This Issue

PAGE

4

Student Accommodation By Sam Powney

Against

PAGE

8

Postage Stamps

PAGE

11

Lifestyle

PAGE

16

Football Tournament

Plus

the background chorus

Food Versus Fuel

of concerns over Hong Kong’s air quality,

The forum ended with several questions

prices, but sustainability experts are worried

energy policy and waste management,

from the audience, including one on the

that this may push the major breadbasket

there have recently been a number of green

issue of biofuels which Commissioner

re g i o n s o f N o r t h A m e r i c a a n d E u ro p e

initiative events, including a forum hosting

Hedegaard was quick to address. She

towards biofuels. This in turn could deal a

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner

welcomed the contribution of biofuels to the

serious blow to many third world economies

for Climate Action alongside Hong Kong’s

energy mix but strongly cautioned against

which still rely on cheap grain imports from

Environment Secretary Edward Yau.

endangering sustainability. This is in tune

the West. There are evidently additional root

with the many administrators worldwide

causes behind the problem; for example,

Edward Yau’s reiteration of Hong Kong’s

who are wary of pushing too far ahead with

rising prices for fossil fuels can push up

current goals was followed by an

biofuels for fear that biofuel crops could

food prices – especially oil.

impassioned speech from the European

detract from global food production. With

Commissioner on the underlying beliefs

food prices having risen significantly over

Caution about biofuels also stems in part

and aims of the European Union as regards

the last few years, this concern has pushed

from fears of counterproductive interference

climate change. Connie Hedegaard

a number of scientific experts to call for

in the economy; when well-intentioned

began with the fundamental assumption

a moratorium on the expansion of biofuel

government subsidies can create

of a common starting point, ‘Probably

crops until the effects it has had up to this

distortions. Subsidies for the production

m o s t o f y o u w h o h a v e c o m e h e re a re

point have been properly quantified.

of biofuels sometimes compound with

convinced that there is climate change -

tax-waivers on petrol and diesel used for

or you would have stayed at home!’ She

In the shadow of a food-price crisis,

agricultural work. The net result can make

summed up Europe’s successes in terms

some commentators pinned the blame

it possible for a farmer to use more than

of reducing carbon emissions as well as

almost squarely on biofuels. The moniker

a gallon of fuel to make a gallon of biofuel

frankly admitting where targets had not

‘food versus fuel’ itself has a clear moral

and still make a profit. Clearly, this is a

been reached. Perhaps most reassuringly,

implication to it. Alarm was raised when

situation which every government wants

the Commissioner stressed that the

a World Bank policy research working

to avoid, but the problem can be even

European Union fully accepts its share of

paper concluded that 70 to 75 percent

wider at the international level. A notable

responsibility, not only for its current share

of food price rises between 2002–2008

example is the loophole between the US

of global emissions, but also as a largely

were attributable to biofuels. Some doubt

and the EU subsidies for blending biofuels

developed region that should be a leader in

has since been cast on the findings of that

with regular fuel. Some companies have

reducing carbon emissions; in Edward Yau’s

report, but on May 31st UK charity Oxfam

been able to take advantage of the US

words ‘Greater prosperity calls for greater

predicted that global food prices will double

government subsidy for their blend, given

responsibility’. Her conclusion was a call for

in the next 20 years – again ascribing part

at the point of blending, then transport

close cooperation between governments

of the blame to biofuels. It is clear that

it to Europe, where they can receive an

in forging a feasible, global cap and

the rising cost of fossil fuels (particularly

EU subsidy for the same fuel at the point

trade system.

oil) has been a major factor in raising food

of sale.

• News / New Appointments • New Members • Shaken Not Stirred

(Continued on page 2)

www.britcham.com

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2011/6/9 11:32:13 AM


COVER STORY (Continued from cover)

Close to home Ebb and Flow: The Story of Biofuels

That governments need to think beyond their own remits in terms of environmental legislation

“The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road,

is something that Hong Kong has long been acutely aware of. Although thinking in terms of

or from apples, weeds, sawdust - almost anything,” so Henry Ford told a New York

regional co-operation is a steep learning curve, cooperation with the Pearl River Delta already

Times Reporter in 1925. “There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be

figures very largely in Hong Kong’s plans to reduce air pollution – an aspect that Secretary

fermented. There’s enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to

Yau referred to in his speech at the Climate Action Forum. In fact mainland China has recently

drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.” Even the

received widespread acclaim for its rapid investment in green technology, and many see China’s

most enthusiastic biofuels expert would likely consider that closing remark a mite

latest 5-year plan as an especially significant step towards a global cap-and-trade system.

optimistic; nevertheless, Ford’s championship of early biofuels seems very prescient to many modern observers. In fact, true to his all-encompassing social ideology

Hong Kong recently saw the launch of one of the city’s first waste-to-biofuel projects, from

(popularly dubbed ‘Fordism’), Ford envisioned biofuel crops becoming a panacea for

energy firm Dynamic Progress International and environmental organisation Friends of the

the struggling American agricultural communities of his time.

Earth, which involves converting used cooking oil into biodiesel. This promises an intriguing solution to ease Hong Kong’s dual problems of over-reliance on fossil fuels and a looming

Both Henry Ford and inventor Charles F. Kettering warned about the risks of

crisis in waste management. Hong Kong’s land-fill capacity will soon be full, according

depending on a resource which would increasingly have to be imported, but

to some estimates by 2015. Around 30-40% of the material in Hong Kong’s landfill sites

the issue was overshadowed by contemporary political issues. To begin with,

is food waste, also a major problem in terms of noxious gases, produced by anaerobic

Prohibition in the US practically swept biofuels away along with the breweries.

decomposition, which are harmful to the environment and unacceptable for nearby residents.

The alcohol industry was, and still is, an obvious starting point for the production

A recent article in the South China Morning Post highlighted that the Hong Kong government

of ethanol. Besides the taxes and limitations on the production of ethanol-derived

has been considering building major municipal plants underground in order to save land-

fuels, the issue of biofuels became a party-political issue in the 1930s. President

space. It has the inescapable appearance of a desperate measure, although this direction

Roosevelt (FDR) found himself opposed to the MidWestern Republicans who

could in fact sidestep spiralling property prices and limit disruption to local residents.

backed ‘chemurgy’ – the wide-scale production of biofuel crops, but came to reassess the situation as American oil reserves dwindled during the war years of

Overall, Hong Kong would be hard-pressed to match leading green economies like Scotland

the early 1940s (he died in 1945).

(aiming for 50% renewable energy by 2020) or Paraguay and Iceland (both of whom have 100% renewable power generation), but few doubt that this compact city has the potential

2

The oil crisis of the 1970s prompted Brazil to initiate a major “Proálcool” project

to be cleaner and more energy efficient. Coming across very clearly in last month’s Climate

to mix ethanol with gasoline for automotive fuel. In more recent times, under the

Action Forum was the need for integrated policies, both between countries and across

multiple threats posed by rising oil prices, ongoing political instability in the Middle

different sectors of government and business. Commissioner Hedegaard expressed this

East, dwindling oil reserves, pollution and climate change, there has been more

simply, ‘Climate change is not just about climate change. Climate change also encompasses

sustained interest in biofuels worldwide.

energy security and independence, as well as job creation and growth.’

www.britcha m .c o m

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2011/6/9 11:32:25 AM


The Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

Editors

As we move into the summer, I am delighted to have been elected for one more term as Chairman of our Chamber. In the past year we have seen the

Ian Cruz Sam Powney

Hong Kong economy continuing to perform well, driven by both global investment and the mainland as it continues to invest in Hong Kong’s future for

Design

As I have said before, we no longer have to debate what Hong Kong needs to become. It has continued to develop into one of the world’s leading

Bill Mo Alan Wong Ken Ng

Advertising Contact Charles Zimmerman

the benefit of all.

international cities. The financial sector is doing well, the logistics sector continues to be vibrant despite the major economic challenges in shipping, and the services industry is doing very well thank you. As we go into the final year of the current administration’s time in government, we remain determined to support the government whilst making the views of our Chamber’s business communities concise and to the point. We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Hong Kong continues to be a great place to do business.

Project Management Vincent Foe

Jointly Published by Speedflex Medianet Ltd and The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong 1/F, Hua Qin International Building 340 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Tel: 2542 2780 Fax: 2542 3733 Email: info@speedflex.com.hk Editorial: Ian@speedflex.com.hk sam.powney@speedflex.com.hk Advertising: charles@speedflex.com.hk

We have focused on a number of issues during the year and will continue to do so. In particular we remain concerned by the problematic execution of the minimum wage issue. We feel that any major change such as the minimum wage should have been examined in a thorough way in terms of the regulatory and business impact to the economy before consideration, presentation and implementation. The competition law, of which we were initially supportive, seems to be heading for a bumpy ride, and once again we have not seen a full regulatory and business impact assessment of this change. Lacking this, and having seen the problematic implementation of the minimum wage in addition to which the legislation was not made applicable to public bodies, we would ask the government to reconsider its whole position regarding the competition law. Let’s get it right! And in the interim we have perfectly adequate independent regulators doing a terrific job in the community. On the international school side; we have been focused on this for 9 months. I am delighted to see the American and Canadian Chambers use our survey template with similar results. The bottom line is this: 74% of our business community believes that investment in Hong Kong is negatively impacted by the almost impossible task of getting children into quality primary schools here. The most concerning issue is that local state schools are struggling to fill their places while international schools at the primary level are completely full. It is surely not beyond reason for the government, with business community support, to make more space available to the international schools to satisfy the demand. We will not let this subject drop. We are now actively engaged in writing our business policy submission to the government, and I encourage all members and committees to contribute

British Chamber of Commerce Secretariat Executive Director CJA Hammerbeck CB, CBE

your thoughts to Tim in the BPU. On a lighter note, I know we have a number of members who actively support rugby in our community including HSBC, SCB and Swire. I would like to congratulate Dai Rees and the Hong Kong team for their outstanding performance in the HSBC Asia five nations competition. The amateurs of Hong Kong pushed Japan all the way and delivered excellent wins against UAE, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan – a truly excellent performance.

General Manager

And with 4,000 mini rugby players under 12 years old playing every weekend, I am sure there will be no shortage of talent in the future. I would also

Cynthia Wang

like to congratulate HSBC for securing the sponsorship of next year’s IRB Hong Kong Sevens. The co-sponsors, HSBC and Cathay Pacific are back

Marketing and Communications Manager Hilary Thomas

Special Events Manager

together again – great to see things go full circle. How many of you have your party costumes ready for the upcoming British Chamber annual ball at the Grand Hyatt ballroom on 24 June? This year’s event with its ‘Rock Stars’ fancy dress theme promises to be a fabulous night out, so don’t miss it. The event is sold out and all the sponsorship opportunities have been taken – a reflection of this being the highest profile event in the Chamber’s calendar, offering fantastic exposure to a key audience.

Becky Roberts Last month’s 5-A-Side corporate football tournament sponsored by Jones Lang LaSalle was a tremendous success, with 16 teams participating.

Events Assistant Mandy Cheng

Business Development Manager Dovenia Chow

Congratulations to Royale Asia on winning the Cup and to Swire who were runners up and took home the plate! Thirteen companies have upgraded their membership to become Sterling members of the Chamber: Baker McKenzie, Barclay’s, BT, CLP, Grosvenor, HSBC, Jardines, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential, Standard Chartered, Swire, and Zurich. I would like to thank these companies for their wonderful support of the Chamber. I am also delighted to see such demand for our new SME category.

Membership Executive Lucy Jenkins

Accountant Michelle Cheung

Executive Assistant Jessie Yip

I would further like to draw your attention to the new Angel website – the wonderfully successful Business Angel Programme has grown fantastically over the past four years, giving more entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business plans to angel investors and move their business to the next stage. The programme is now launching a dedicated website, sponsored by Baker Tilly Hong Kong. You can read more about this excellent programme in this issue of the Britcham magazine. There are plenty of other interesting articles in this month’s issue, including our cover story on climate action in Hong Kong and beyond. This is very topical as more and more people take the government to task over air pollution and ‘green issues’.

Secretary Yammie Yuen

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the support and wish you all a fantastic holiday wherever you may be going, travel safe and enjoy the break.

Office Assistant Sam Chan Kevin Taylor

Room 1201, Emperor Group Centre, 288 Hennessy Road, Wanchai Tel: 2824 2211 Fax: 2824 1333 Website: www.britcham.com © All published material is copyright protected. Permission in writing from the Publishers must be obtained for the reproduction of the contents, whole or in part. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the opinions of the Publishers. The Publishers assume no responsibility for investment or legal advice contained herein.

12087_P01-20.indd 3

STUDENT ACCOMMODATION MARKET . . . . . . . . . . 4 DATA ANALYTICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ANGEL INVESTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 INVESTING IN POSTAGE STAMPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 MEMBER DISCOUNTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 ITALIAN CUISINE AT THE RITZ CARLTON . . . . . . . . 11 ALL ABOUT OYSTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 GRAND HYATT’S NEW STEAKHOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . 13

ANNUAL BALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-A-SIDE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . WINE CLUB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIEWPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEWS AND NEW APPOINTMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEW MEMBERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SHAKEN NOT STIRRED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14 16 18 19 20 22 23

2011/6/9 11:32:45 AM


BUSINESS

STUDENT ACCOMMODATION DO THE SUMS ADD UP? A Supply / Demand Story By Paul Brady, Senior Consultant, The Henley Group

The

UK’s student accommodation market has emerged as a key asset class in the

UK – World Class Universities

past decade, providing a steady passive income, and consequently attracting growing

The principal reason for the UK’s continued popularity as a place to study can be summed

interest from investors, developers and private operators alike, with the latter now providing

up in 23-year-old Uzbekistani Tulkin Sultanov’s response to the BBC asking his reason

nearly 150,000 student bed spaces in the UK. Most of the universities in the UK are

for pursuing advanced studies in the UK: "reputation." Worldwide, UK universities are

government financed, and therefore have fixed tuition limits that currently stand at £3,375

renowned for their high academic standards, cutting-edge educational facilities, and the

per year for home students; however, this maximum tuition fee will be raised to £9,000 per

flexibility to accommodate individual student needs.

year in 2012. So will this financial change affect student numbers and consequently student accommodation as an investment? Also, how do the sums stack up for this sector in the

Taking the increased educational costs projected through 2012, students studying in the

UK in comparison to another international educational market such as HK for example?

UK are still likely to encounter lower costs than in the US, Canada, Japan and Australia. Costs in Hong Kong are also very competitive in fact: enrolment in HKUST for international

At the heart of the student market’s appeal is the current imbalance between the supply

students costs approximately 15,000 USD pa. It is difficult to accurately predict the

of accommodation and the demand for bed spaces. According to UCAS, demand for

demand for UK university places for 2012/13 and onwards, and the number of university

academic courses is at an all-time high with nearly 700,000 university applications received

places that will be available. However, UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service)

in 2010. But with UK undergraduate places totalling 490,000, demand clearly dwarfs

statistics show that demand for university places surged in 2005 prior to increased tuition

supply. Student applications rose by 34% in the five years to 2010, whilst the number of

fees in 2006, which was followed by a marginal drop in 2006 after the increase. Demand

available places increased by 20%. The latest figures from spring 2011 already highlight

increased each year thereafter. Overall, the number of applications and acceptances has

another 3% gain since spring 2010. The latest enrollment figures show that nearly 107,000

been increasing throughout the past 15 years and the number of applicants continues to far

overseas undergraduates were studying in the UK during the last academic year, a rise of 11%

exceed the number of acceptances.

on the year before. Overseas students are wholly unaffected by the increase in tuition fees for ‘home’ students. They should provide a steady buffer if numbers of UK students were to dwindle over the coming years.2

To Invest or Not to Invest… The demand for student accommodation is driven by the continuing increase in the number of students in higher education and the attraction of the UK as a leading destination for

Figure 1: Level of Student Enrollment in the UK Increasing Substantially

international students.

Index = 100

130 120

UK

The most important consideration is that the limited supply of accommodation versus the

110

Other EU

high level of demand is already so far apart that even if student numbers do drop marginally,

Non EU

it will not fundamentally affect the imbalance between supply and demand for student

100 90

Source: HESA

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

accommodation in the major university towns and cities. In particular the demand for quality, well-located student accommodation continues to significantly outstrip supply.

2008/09

Current Style of Accommodation Offerings

Another major reason why a student accommodation style investment can work very well

Presently, according to Unipol and the National Union of Students, less than a quarter of

for certain people is the counter-cyclical nature in comparison to traditional asset classes

students are actually residing in purpose built, university accommodation; a far greater

such as equities. When, for example, markets are falling, economic prospects are uncertain

number of students live in private residential shared housing. In London alone student

and redundancies are common, many people return to university to up-skill, while current

3

numbers are said to be growing at 15 times the rate of the new supply of housing.

students remain at university to complete a Masters or PhD instead of entering a highly competitive and uncertain job market. This of course will continue to be tested as the costs

Chart 2: Where students are living now Own their own property 10%

In a house owned by their parents 1%

Purpose built student accommodation 22%

In great contrast, the latest figures from Hong Kong

of education continue to rise far above inflation.

indicate that almost 80% of students here live at home. As such the student accommodation

Whether you or your child decides to opt for tertiary education in either the UK or Hong Kong,

market is much less developed. That being

the one certainty is that from 2012 onwards you will receive little change from 100,000 USD!

said, it is very likely that Hong Kong will follow With parents (or other relatives) 23%

Private rented sector on own or with a partner 10%

Source: Googlemaps/Unipol/NUS

the UK and most other developed educational markets with a shortage of quality student style

If you have any questions please visit The Henley Group’s website: www.thehenleygroup.com.hk,

accommodation as student numbers increase.

call (+852) 2824 1083, or contact Paul directly at: pb@thehenleygroup.com.hk

For the first time in 2008/09 HKUST responded Private rented sector with friends 34%

to the huge increase in demand for student

1

Image source: CB Richard Ellis

housing by giving priority to non-local students; at

3

Source: www.investorschronicle.co.uk, ‘Student Accommodation Funds Come of Age’

present there are only an estimated 5,000 on and

4

Source: www.ust.hk

2

Source: The Guardian

off campus places for 10,000 students.4

4

www.britcha m .c o m

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2011/6/9 11:32:50 AM


BUSINESS

Employing Data Effectively By Richard Williams, Partner at Deloitte and Touche FAS

A

world of information is stored in a company's data. But how often is the full potential

But what do we mean by "looking at data from the inside out"? To understand, we need

of this data utilised to drive business decision-making, or improve performance, profitability

to take a holistic view of Analytics. There are different ways to look at your data. You can

and growth? At Deloitte we describe analytics as the practice of using data to drive

overlay a set of rules on the data in order to segment, categorise and drive outcomes: this

business strategy and performance. It includes a range of approaches and solutions, from

is the traditional way of looking at data, and it requires intimate knowledge of the data’s

looking backward to evaluate what happened in the past, to forward-looking scenario-

interconnected nature. This is a tried and tested way of using analytics to drive a business's

planning and predictive modelling.

decision-making process.

There are five key trends that are driving the new approach to business analytics:

In our increasingly complex global business environment however, using traditional

1. Data Volumes & Technology Capacity – both are growing at an exponential pace

techniques and applying a rules-based approach to the data might not deliver the deep

2. Regulations – regulators are expecting businesses to be transparent and provide deeper

insights demanded by executives to help make decisions.

insight into risk exposure 3. Profitable Growth – the drive to remain competitive and continue to grow regardless of economic conditions 4. New Signal – as we become increasingly tech-savvy, new sources of data become available to assist us to gain insights into business 5. Hidden Insight – given the inherent complexity of many businesses, we are fortunate

Looking at data from the inside out involves looking at the interconnected relationship between all the data without using a pre-determined set of parameters, instead using analytical tools that are underpinned by advanced algorithms to identify new insights that, ultimately, can assist executives with making tactical and strategic decisions about their business.

to have more advanced tools to assist with identifying hidden insights to drive better decision-making

These analytical insights, when focused on the customer, are at the core of modern pricing and profitability management - this is focused on price optimisation, trade-spend

Out of these trends, Data Volumes and Technology Capacity have brought analytics to the

effectiveness, and profitability management. The right business analytics can create a

forefront of business decision-making.

competitive advantage that drives material benefits to the bottom line.

According to some, the explosion of data available for analysis has now overtaken the storage

The insurance industry has for many years used a common framework to understand its

available to retain it. A few years ago we talked only of megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes and,

risk exposure relative to its customers. Health assessments using traditional methods such

only more recently, petabytes. Now, new terms that attempt to quantify much larger data

as blood or other medical tests are costly and take considerable time. New methods that

volumes are beginning to emerge: yottabytes, xonabytes, wekabytes and vundabytes.

endeavour to more efficiently, and potentially more accurately, understand the lifestyle of customers – and therefore the life-time value of customers – are currently being explored.

In parallel to the rapid increase in data volumes, we have seen computing power grow

Publically-available information concerning shopping habits, as well as demographic and

exponentially over the past 30 years (Moore’s law: transistor count on CPUs doubles every

geographic data, can be used to model and predict health and lifestyle in otherwise similar

two years). This increase in computing power lends itself to the possibility of undertaking

customers. This type of modelling drifts into the domain of data privacy, and decisions about

many more calculations and permutations over a much larger set of data than was

the legal, ethical and moral use of this data have in the past been brought into question.

previously possible. However, the mere fact that this type of analytics is now possible demonstrates the potential In instances where there is neither appropriate controls nor governance over the data, a

for new insights into otherwise incongruous data. To build a competitive advantage through

company's data universe can grow wild; the output and/or reporting, therefore, provides no real

analytics, a robust process that includes data and technology, analytics and process,

insight. Such companies often do not recognise that this information is not a genuine asset.

people and organisation is needed. This recipe delivers analytically-driven improvements in business performance.

In many instances, prior to undertaking any advanced analytics, significant time is used just to identify data sources, and the subsequent cleansing, reconciling, and validating of that

A successful transformation to make full use of analytics will not happen overnight.

data. Fortunately, in the renewed wave of interest in analytics, companies are increasingly

Implementing a change-management programme is also a key component of integrating

recognising that information is an asset and are, at the very least, considering how to best

analytics into business decision-making. Adopting a crawl, walk, run approach, anticipating

utilise this facet of their business to make more informed decisions.

a realistic value, learning how best to transfer the knowledge through your business, and ensuring you have the full buy-in of the executive team are all integral components in

Advanced Analytics – Looking at the data from the inside-out Looking at that data from the inside out enables businesses to better understand

gaining the most valuable hidden insights into your business and driving business decisionmaking through analytics.

the behaviour of customers, vendors, distributors, product-sales variations, seasonal fluctuations, and many other business-related metrics. This, in essence, is Analytics, and it has already proven to be an extremely powerful tool for many forward-thinking businesses looking to make strategic decisions and gain tactical advantage over their competitors.

6

Richard Williams is a Partner in Deloitte’s Analytics Practice. For more information, please contact him at ricwilliams@deloitte.com.cn.

www.britcha m .c o m

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2011/6/9 11:32:58 AM


BUSINESS

The

Angels Assemble…

The

end of March saw the Baker Tilly Angel Investors meet for a fresh round of presentations

at the Hong Kong Club, with several new businesses pitching their concepts and business plans to a group of interested investors. First launched in 2007, the Baker Tilly Hong Kong Business Angel Programme was the first such initiative to be launched in Hong Kong by any of the chambers of commerce. The programme brings together small businesses who are looking for funding to expand, with potential investors who are keen to put their money into a new business venture. As usual, the new businesses were wide-ranging in their fields and were established enough to make some impressive pitches for investment. This round saw four new businesses take the floor. They were: Indigo Global Limited – an employee benefit consultancy, AliAnt – a green energy company, Iceberg – a biomass electricity project, and Infinet Financial Systems – which develops innovative adaptive trading platforms. Each speaker was allotted a ten minute pitch, with a further five minutes for questions at the end. Having been well-prepared for the occasion after receiving feedback from the Angel Investment Committee and having a special presentation skill session with Connect Communication, they each finished their talks almost on the dot. Questions from potential investors ranged from probing market conditions to assessing specific financial plans. The Baker Tilly Hong Kong Business Angel Investment programme is one of the few credible angel investment opportunities in Hong Kong, while the succinct style of the event is unique. In an exciting new development, Britcham is launching a new website for the programme on 15th June. This will enable entrepreneurs to upload their business plans and angels will then be able to view them just by logging in. The British Chamber is very grateful to Baker Tilly Hong Kong, without whose sponsorship and committed support this event could not happen. The Chamber also thanks the members of the Angel Investment Committee who have put a lot of time and energy into selecting the candidates and coaching them through the process. Special thanks should also go to Tony Ngo and Eric Sampson at Connect Communication for giving up their time to give special presentation advice to each candidate before the breakfast. If you would like to participate in the Baker Tilly Hong Kong Business Angel Programme, please register your interest by contacting Hilary Thomas, marketing and communications manager at the Chamber, at Hilary@britcham.com or on 2824 1972. For more information, please visit www.britcham.com

June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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2011/6/9 11:33:03 AM


BUSINESS

Collector’s Choice Interview with Geoff Anandappa, Investment Portfolio Manager at Stanley Gibbons The philately market may have had its ups and downs in the past, but in the wake of the economic crisis alternative investments of all kinds have roared back into life. Those with a view to investing in stamps may take heart in the very derivation of ‘philately’. The Greek philo - meaning ‘to love’, and ateleia – ‘exempt from duties and taxes’: Here is an attraction which all law-abiding tax avoiders will readily understand. We caught up with Geoff Anandappa, Stanley Gibbons portfolio manager, who was here in Hong Kong last month courtesy of the Henley Group.

avid collectors of just about everything. By the 1850s stamp dealers were established.

What’s the trend in stamp collecting in this part of the world? Isn’t it difficult for Chinese collectors to get hold of stamps? What kinds of stamps or memorabilia are mainland Chinese customers interested in - or is philately seen largely as an investment arena?

Stanley Gibbons was established in 1856, but we were by no means the first. So I’d say

In China stamp-collecting is now encouraged and people have begun collecting stamps

that you have serious stamp collectors within

from the Chairman Mao period - some of these have broken world records for Chinese

about ten years of the first stamp being issued.

stamps. Plus there are the earlier stamps, from the treaty ports period and so on –

When did people start collecting stamps? The first stamp was the penny black issued in 1840. There are reports of people accumulating penny blacks shortly after their first issue – remember that Victorians were

those have really taken off in value as well. In 2010 the world record price for a Chinese The second country to issue stamps was Brazil

stamp was broken three times. One was a stamp from the 19th century, another was

(1843), followed by some of the German states

from the 1950s.

and principalities. Possibly the most prized stamp in the world was the first issued by a British

China valuables

overseas territory, the now legendary Mauritius ‘Post Office’ editions. Mauritius didn’t really need stamps at that time, but the governor’s wife Mauritius ‘Post Office Red’

wanted some stamps to put on the invitation letters for the ball she was organising!

A great number of people have stamp collections from their school days sitting around somewhere. By and large, are they really worth anything? Generally speaking, no. Most childhood collections are not very valuable for a couple of 1968 The Whole Country Is Red

reasons. Firstly, most of the stamps you get on letters are low value stamps - the one or two penny stamps. Generally, the rarer and more valuable stamps are the higher values, which are printed in low quantities - and you don’t find those on ordinary letters. The condition is important as well. In childhood collections the conditions tend not to be as good as experienced collectors would ensure.

1897 $1 on 3 cent Red Revenue For those reasons, most childhood collections are not worth very much. But of course collectors don’t collect just for the value of the stamp. Many of my clients will invest in only five stamps, whereas a serious collector will accumulate upwards of five thousand stamps. We generally

In London, your average stamp fair will have about 30,000 visitors in a week. Three years

have between two or three million stamps in our shop in London – those are for the collectors

ago I was at a stamp show in Luoyang where they claimed to have had 750,000 visitors

to buy, but our investment-grade stamps will only

in ten-days. Many were young collectors, even teenagers, and at each stand they were

number about 100 to 120 at any one time. That

four of five rows deep waiting their turn to look at the displays. That was clearly the first

hundred is always changing, but it’s a tiny proportion

time for many of them to get exposure to stamps from other countries. We took a couple

of the number of stamps which we have in stock.

of hundred penny blacks to another show in Beijing, each well presented and valued at around €200, and sold all of them. We really hadn’t expected to sell more than a dozen

Let’s take the penny black as an example of the way

or so.

this works. It’s actually not a particularly rare stamp – there were some 67 million printed. You can buy a really nice one in good condition for a couple of

With the rise of the email and the airmail sticker, are the days of postage stamps numbered?

hundred pounds - and that’s not an investment

Definitely. At the moment, the only reason why post offices keep issuing stamps is for

grade stamp. But in unused condition, with the

collectors. It’s much more cost effective for post offices to print out a label to stick on a

original gum on the back and good margins all the way around – that would sell for £10,000.

8

1840 Penny Black, SG catalogue price £10,000

letter. And actually, I’m looking forward to the day when that happens; I think people will appreciate stamps a lot more when they no longer see them on letters.

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That will put the small island nations whose collectible stamps are a major part of their economy in an interesting position won’t it?

Generally that’s not the level of stamps that we

I’m sure that they will continue to produce stamps, and no doubt someone will continue to

hundred pounds is a significant investment.

invest in; but for your average collector, five

collect them! There are thematic collectors for example, whose focus is solely on stamps featuring flowers, flags, birds or what have you.

What was your most exciting philatelyrelated experience?

In general, what are the common dangers involved in investing in stamps?

I bought an early Indian stamp which is a forgery

If you try to go it on your own it’s very difficult to find the investment grade stamps. You might

by a famous 1930s forger called Sperati. He

think that you’ve found a bargain but unless you’re an expert, you really wouldn’t spot aspects

was so proud of his work that he called them

that could greatly demean the value. So it’s very important if you’re investing in stamps to get

‘reproductions’ rather than forgeries, and he

the right advice. It’s most important to get the right dealer with the right expertise, who has

actually signed them! So a lot of them are quite

the right amount of stock and who can offer you some guarantees as well.

easy to spot. I have one that is a proof, with his Sperati forgery of Indian stamp

signature at the bottom – that is actually a lot more valuable than the original stamp.

And the benefits? Firstly the diversification aspect – alternative investments are important for any investor,

I like forgeries of modern stamps as well. You

and also people derive a lot more enjoyment

can find forgeries of the typical ‘Queen’s head’

from investing in things like stamps. It’s a great

stamps on Ebay. These were printed in sheets

talking point with friends! It can also be a good

for sale in corner shops. Forgeries done to

way to pass on value through the generations.

defraud the post office, rather than collectors,

Rare stamps have proven to be a very

are much rarer and more collectible…from my

stable investment for a long time (averaging

point of view! Funnily enough I have one on a

10% per annum over 50+ years). And rare

letter sent to Hong Kong. So I collect quirky

stamps from some Asian countries (Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka) have the potential for excellent returns in the next 5-10 years.

The Crown Jewel of Hong Kong Philately: Queen Victoria 96 cent OliveBistre block of four - available for sale from Stanley Gibbons at £750,000

The GB30 Rare Stamps Index made a sudden leap in 2007/2008. Do you think that that was entirely due to the financial crisis?

items like that – I like printers’ proofs, modern errors and so on.

What do you think are the key elements which give stamps their attraction and thus their value? That’s a very difficult question to answer!

Stanley Gibbons 1874 catalogue

I think it was partly due to that, but we have seen people increasingly moving into stamps

People collect stamps for different reasons.

as a more stable form of investment. I remember going into our store at one point in 2008

The link with history is very important, and some stamps have very beautiful designs.

around the time of the Northern Rock crisis when people were really afraid of putting money

There is something of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ aspect as well – which is why, I suspect,

into banks. The shop was the busiest I’ve ever seen it. People were coming in to spend

most collectors are men, although we do have a number of avid female collector/clients.

perhaps one or two hundred pounds on a stamp – not big investments, but still significant.

Fundamentally, the attraction of stamps is very subjective.

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LIFESTYLE

Over View

Eating at Tosca: Italian Cuisine at the Ritz Carlton I

By Becky Roberts

was relatively new to Hong Kong when the previous

A far cry from the chintz and ‘old world’ glamour of the old

main courses and desserts. I opted for a starter of

incarnation of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong closed its

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, the interiors of the new hotel fit

Mediterranean blue lobster, artichoke salad and Corbezzolo

doors for the final time. Along with the rest of the city I’ve

perfectly with the brand new setting of the ICC building. The

honey mustard, which was light and contained fresh citrus

been following with interest the appearance of the ICC

overarching impression of the Tosca interior is of glass and

elements which brought the salad alive. My partner was

development in West Kowloon, waiting in anticipation for

water, with decorative glass panels and the soothing sound

pleased with his choice of roasted pigeon, quince apple,

the completion of the tallest building on the city’s skyline.

of water from a central feature. A sophisticated theme of dark

white beans and foie gras.

The Ritz Carlton is now open and welcoming guests. Keen

purple highlights running through the upholstery and glass

to experience dining in the highest hotel in the world, my

ware, gives a stylish touch. The central open kitchen adds to

For the main course I chose a novel sounding pasta dish -

partner and I visited Tosca, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, for

the theatre, and allows the curious diner to see the team of

bucatini, roasted cauliflower and smoked crotone cheese.

a mid-week dinner.

expert chefs at work, whilst the galleried floor above allows

The dense smokiness of the cauliflower and cheese

glimpses into the ‘Chocolate Library’, which offers chocolate

flavoured the thick tubes of pasta, and a generous mix

The views are unquestionably spectacular. From the dizzying

themed afternoon teas and treats. Despite its operatic name,

of capers and olives added some saltiness and tang to

heights of the 102nd floor, the buildings on Hong Kong seem

relaxed background music in the restaurant adds to the

the dish. My partner was surprised when his choice of

very small, and the Star ferries look like toys as they cross

contemporary feel, and creates a more informal atmosphere

prime beef rib-eye arrived pre-sliced – of course if he had

the harbour. It goes without saying that requesting a table

than in some fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong hotels.

understood Italian then he would know that this is exactly

next to the floor to ceiling windows is highly recommended in order to make the most of the experience!

what ‘tagliata’ means! There were no complaints however, At first glance the menu seems long, but an explanation

and he tucked in declaring it delicious, with a perfect ‘melt in

from the patient waiting staff reveals that even-numbered

the mouth’ texture. We needed some help to decipher the

It was with typical bad timing that we visited on one of the

pages show the menu in Italian with an English translation,

dessert menu – with several Italian classics to choose from

first days of the rainy season, but the swirling cloud kept

while odd-numbered pages show the same items with

(including cannoli, millefoglie, and baba), the Tosca Tiramisu

us entertained with an ever changing scene as the harbour

the English names and a Chinese translation. The menu

was recommended as the must-try option. Presented

below appeared and disappeared from view.

showcases southern Italian classics, divided into antipasti,

beautifully in a small glass ‘fish bowl’, it was delicious – light and served with dark bitter chocolate on top. My partner is a cheese lover, and was excited to see what the selezione di formaggi italiani would contain. Highlights included a truffle cheese, and an absolutely delicious gorgonzola. The wine list features a number of Italian wines, and having limited knowledge and experience in this area we were more than happy to follow the sommelier’s suggestions of wines by the glass to complement our differing tastes! We finished our meal, just as the clouds rolled in and obliterated from view much of the harbour below. Walking out of the restaurant towards the lift lobby takes you through the lounge and bar – again with floor to ceiling windows with dramatic views of Hong Kong Island, this time from a different angle. The hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Tin Lung Heen, faces the opposite direction – and thus offers views over Kowloon and the New Territories. With so many dining options to choose from, each offering a different view , we resolved to come back to visit the RitzCarlton again – but next time on a clear day! June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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LIFESTYLE

Oysters A Growing Love Affair With the beginning of the Australian oyster season, Ian Cruz gives you the lowdown: all you need to know about eating oysters in Hong Kong.

The

unique and sensational taste of fresh oysters is a true culinary indulgence, offering a chance to experience and taste the

essence of the sea. Much as Hong Kong people’s appreciation of wine has grown in recent years, the same can now be said for fresh oysters. There is an increasing number of diners in Hong Kong who are becoming more educated and discerning in appreciating the difference in quality and taste between different varieties of oysters. Much like wine, oysters are cultivated in different areas across the world – mainly in Europe, Australia, and North America – and the flavour of a particular variety of oyster is attributed to its terroir, offering differences in regards to their taste, body, nose and texture. Because an oyster feeds by filtering water though its system, its taste is inevitably affected by the salinity, minerals and algae it eats within the environment in which it was cultivated, resulting in a range of different tasting oysters from salty to floral, as well as ones

By Ian Cruz

Cafe Deco on the Peak was one of the first restaurants in Hong Kong to incorporate an oyster bar into their restaurant, based on an original 1930s Parisian Art Deco Oyster Bar, and providing a selection of fresh oysters from Europe, Australia and the US. Every Monday (except public holidays), enjoy these delectable morsels at $12 each as Café Deco features a selection of oysters to choose from.

with fruity notes, mineral tastes and hints of spice. For example, the typically saltier and brinier taste of European oysters as compared to Australian ones is due to their location close to the North Sea, which has a higher salinity compared to the waters around Australia.

To reserve, call 2849 5111.

Selecting from among the varieties of oysters to eat in regards to taste and size is very much a matter of preference. The size of an oyster depends on its age, ranging from bistro size (6 to 7cm), to standard size (7 to 8cm), up to large sized oysters (8 to 10cm). Like many other foods, there are varieties which are regarded as premium quality, such as the Australian flat oyster, Angasi, and the much revered and highly valued French oyster, Belon. Whatever one’s preference, the most important factor in selecting oysters is whether that particular variety is in season. The season determines whether they will be plump and juicy – the characteristics of an ideal oyster. Oysters mainly feed when the climate is cooler, making winter the best season to eat oysters. This is from September to May for European oysters, and from May to November for Australian oysters. As these areas’ winter seasons don’t coincide, the two markets do not have to compete; and since Hong Kong tends to import from both parts of the world, we benefit from ‘in season’ oysters all year round. An out of season oyster is not as plump, juicy and crisp, and its leanness results in a less than ideal ‘milky’ texture. The growing interest in eating fresh oysters in Hong Kong is being spurred on by the ever growing number of fine dining establishments and oyster bars around town that are accommodating diners with a much wider selection of oysters from which to choose. Here in Hong Kong, local tastes have generally tended to favour the Australian varieties of oysters for their less salty and less metallic taste as compared to varieties from other parts of the world. Hong Kong also benefits from its closeness to Australia, with shipments coming in up to four times a week, ensuring that the oysters are fresh. However, diners are increasingly venturing outside their comfort zones and trying new varieties. With the rise of wine culture in Hong Kong, pairings of varieties of oysters with different varieties of wines are becoming more common. Venturing even further into an unfamiliar culinary territory, oysters are now sometimes paired with different kinds of cheese – it might seem an unusual combination, but they can compliment each other’s strong flavour. It is up to diners to continue to develop their own oyster knowledge by actively seeking out and trying new varieties which they have never had before, and appreciating the subtle differences between each of them. Eventually, it won’t be enough to just eat a plate of oysters which a restaurant suggests, but rather ones that cater to a diner’s individual tastes.

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LIFESTYLE

WellDone

Experiencing the Hyatt’s new Steakhouse

By Sam Powney

The

Hyatt’s Steakhouse has only been open for a month and yet it seems firmly established. Perhaps this is partly down to the

dark wood panelling and old world furnishings. I decide to forego the tranquil tables and head for the lively bar - which, as it happens, is the restaurant’s centrepiece. I cast an eye around the square counter; it’s almost fully populated by lively groups of Italians and Australians, and in the centre of it all is a platform piled high with fresh seafood. It’s almost like a shrine – four stone eagles perched above providing a slightly gothic edge. To the side is a salad bar boasting six kinds of lettuce and all manner of cold meats. There are several cozy rooms off to the side and even a few tables by the windows which couples seem to prefer. A long list of appetizers includes Broiled Alaska King Crab Legs, Lobster Bisque Soup and plenty more seafood besides. As with most extensive menus, it’s hard to take in all the choices, so after interrogating the helpful assistant manager Frederick Kolde, I decide on the Ahi Tuna Tartare, a truly melt-in-your mouth juxtaposition of tuna and avocado on a bed of watercress. To go with this I was plied, first with champagne, and then with a glass of the ‘wine which made Nappa Valley famous’ - the Duckhorn Merlot. This is plenty enough in the way of appetizers, although Frederick assures me that the real benchmark of a good steakhouse is that seemingly insignificant starter – crab cakes. Apparently this is just one of the many dishes on which this steakhouse has spent inordinate time and care.

We Collect and deliver your car FREE OF CHARGE Next comes a good deal of indecision about the much anticipated main course. There are at least a dozen steaks to choose from, but there’s an accepted means of classification which is supposed to help narrow it down. I’ve never fully understood how cows relate to

(subject to distance) We provide good, quick repair service at reasonable prices

national identity, but experts swear that beef differs greatly between the main countries of origin – in this case the USA, Canada and Japan. The animals’ diet, the climate in which they live, the music they listen to and the skill of their personal masseuses (the last two in the case of Japanese Wagyu beef), all play their part in delivering the final taste. This wealth of information hasn’t made the choice any easier at all. Was it commonwealth ties that won the day? I think it had more to do with the recommendation, once again, of Frederick. I order the Canadian Angus T-Bone. When he told me it came from Canada he was half-right; as far as I can see, what they bring me is Canada. It’s enormous. With fool’s courage I start off confidently devouring the nearest portions, then pause before tucking into large swathes of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Besides the meat there are classic potato wedges and baby asparagus, and I should mention the delightful truffle mustard that comes with it. By the time I get into Alberta I am beginning to seriously flag and, to be quite honest, just nibbling at British Colombia is overstretching things. In the end I meet my Plains of Abraham of the wrong side of the country, while all of Yukon and more lies tauntingly beyond the T-Bone. Fortunately, I have another glass of wine, a Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon. This is lighter and slightly sweeter than the Duckhorn, and has a hint of…who am I kidding, I have no idea what it has a hint of. But it’s a great wine! The cocktail creations, including the ‘Mangorita’ and the ‘Bloody Bourbon’, also sound interesting – but sadly it’s a work night…

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Now, you might well think that by this stage of fulfilment I could do without dessert, and you would be right. But that doesn’t stop me from ordering a ‘Williams Pear Hélène’ sundae. A bridge too far it may have been, but it was also glorious. All the Hyatt Steakhouse’s sundaes are made with their state-of-the-art Carpigiani machines. This one is a great melange of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with pear slices on top. Again, it’s much more than I can manage, but well worth it anyway. In the end I’m slightly crestfallen to discover that

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the glass I’ve been struggling with is, officially, a kid’s portion. June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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EVENTS

With thanks to our sponsors: ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Title Sponsor –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Gold Sponsors ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Silver Sponsors –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Other Sponsors and Supporters ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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––––––– Many thanks to the following companies who donated prizes for the Annual Ball 2011 –––––––

June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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EVENTS

The Jones Lang LaSalle 5-a-side Corporate

Football Tournament 2011 Thursday 19th May saw the return of the annual Ynetwork Corporate 5-aside football tournament held at Hong Kong Football Club. This year 16 teams were involved with various levels of ability on show to keep spectators entertained throughout the evening. From the night, congratulations must go to Swire who managed to fend off Hays to take home the plate, and in the cup competition it was Royal Asia who claimed the honours after a hotly contested final with Jones Lang LaSalle. We would like thank all the players and supporters who attended this year and appreciate your continued support of this event which has now become a favorite in the Ynetwork calendar. Finally we would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors Jones Lang LaSalle for their exceptional backing of this event over the last 7 years – the event could not have gone ahead without them. We would also like to thank Natural Springs for sponsoring the water for the tournament and for providing the winners with stainless steel water bottles. Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you next year.

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For any further information about Ynetwork membership and events, please contact Lucy Jenkins at lucy@britcham.com, or call 2111 1829. June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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LIFESTYLE

Les Quartz 2006 Le Clos du Caillou, Côtes du Rhône It’s all French to me! Welcome to the first of Britcham’s “Wine of the Month” features. Each month we will be bringing you a wine from the different regions of the Wine World – Old and New. All of the wines are of the best quality and carefully selected to show you the best of what we have to offer. Britcham members are then given a special deal on a case of the “Wine of the Month”. This month, we are showcasing a beautiful French Syrah in support of the Le French May Arts Festival that runs until the 23rd of June. Les Quartz 2006 comes from Château Le Clos du Caillou in the renowned Rhône Valley of France. This Syrah comes from a château that is almost on the door-step of the Chateauneuf de Pape region, and shares very similar characteristics with the wines produced in the world-famous region. Les Quartz is so named because of the interesting soil of the region and the way in which the flat pebbles retain the sun’s heat and allow the ripening process to continue during the night. Bright ruby in colour, this Syrah consists of opulent flavours of liquorice, ripe blackberries, cherries and raspberries with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. A powerful wine that embodies the spirit of an evening spent with good food, great friends and an even better bottle of France’s finest. It is a great complement to a meal of chicken, red meats or tomato-based pastas. For optimal enjoyment, we have found it is best to let the wine breathe in a carafe or decanter for 30-45mins before serving. It certainly is a fantastic wine to celebrate summer, French-style. Appréciez du vin!

Wine Information At-a-Glance Wine Club

Château Le Clos du Caillou, Les Quartz 2006

Join the BRITCHAM WINE CLUB to be a part of exclusive quarterly tasting events.

SYRAH

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meet wine experts and fellow Britcham members. All wines are imported from the top wineries around the world and are often impossible to find in Hong Kong. A mixed case of your favourite wines from the event will be delivered to your door, free of

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charge, within a few days. There are no contracts and no obligations, just great wines.

Pairing: Chicken, red meats, tomato-based pastas

For more information about the Wine Club, please e-mail wineclub@britcham.com.

FREE delivery & order in bulk to save more To order call 2147-2931 or email: wineclub@britcham.com

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For up to date event listings and information, check out www.britcham.com 18

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MEMBERSHIP

Perspective

The British Chamber’s Sterling Members

Interview with Geoffrey Riddell, Regional Chairman of Asia-Pacific & Middle East, Zurich Financial Services Group. Zurich is a Sterling Member of the Chamber

How’s business?

and shakers in government are etc. It’s also a great source of

Our underlying situation is good. But like most insurance

introductions: through the Chamber you can meet key government

companies we’ve been really hammered in the first quarter of 2011

people or visitors to the region who you might not otherwise get

by natural catastrophe losses. Unfortunately most of those have

to meet. So there’s practical and broader information – Britcham

been in my region of Asia. We’ve had two major flood-losses and

brings some great speakers in. It’s also an important lobbying

a windstorm in Queensland, a major earthquake in Christchurch,

group. Lastly, the Chamber is a great networking environment;

flooding in Melbourne, plus all that has happened in Japan. It was a

some other business associations almost get embarrassed about

pretty tough start to the year. Basically, from a profit-and-loss point

doing that…I can’t see why. But Britcham isn’t embarrassed to

of view, Asia’s contribution to the group is gone this year. There’s

admit that that’s a significant part of what it brings to the table.

not a lot we can do about that. But we’re a diversified group so we were still able to report a profit in that quarter; there were a

What does your work involve?

lot of good things happening elsewhere in the region. There’s

I am Zurich’s lead representative in the region. A major part of my

the giant venture with Banco Santander SA (Santander) and we’re

job is ensuring stakeholder management – this means that we’re

close to buying Malaysian Assurance Alliance Berhard (MAAB) - a

dealing well with all the people we should be dealing with in the

major insurance company in Malaysia.

region. That’s a wide group of people – starting with customers, then distribution partners, employees, banks, and all those who

What are your plans for Zurich in 2011?

get business from us. The focus of my job is much more on

To make up for as much of the catastrophe losses as we can –

the long term development than the short-term. My eye is on

that’s a given; to continue to build/consolidate our position in the

the questions: Are we in the right position for the long-term?

region, and to integrate MAAB. Given that the group also bought

Are we accomplishing integration well enough that we will

Santander in South America – that’s about as much as the group

have resources free to continue looking at further organic or

can take on in terms of integration in a year.

inorganic growth?

What’s the most exciting business-related news you’ve heard recently?

How long have you been in Hong Kong?

Our coming acquisition of MAAB in Malaysia!

About 8 months – though I doubt if I’ve spent more than six weeks here during that time! I was also here between 1990 and 1995.

We’re highly focused on execution; we’re highly focused on risk

If you could save one building in Hong Kong from reclamation, which would it be?

management. We are an insurance company and nothing but an

This might be considered a slightly odd one, but it would be the

insurance company. Sometimes insurance companies are called

HSBC Main Building. It’s a wonderful piece of architecture, instantly

‘investment companies with an expensive habit’ – we like to think

recognisable anywhere in the world. I can hardly believe that the

we make money out of insurance and we prevent the investment

legend about its being capable of being taken to pieces and rebuilt

side from becoming the ‘expensive habit’. We are proud of the fact

anywhere is true – but it’s a great story.

What is the secret of Zurich’s success?

that between 2007 and 2009 we were the only major insurance company who strengthened our balance sheets, strengthened

One thing you would change if it was up to you?

our writings and improved our market position. That’s

Pollution – I’d get rid of it. When I was here in the ’90s, the air was

because we run a very conservative, heavily diversified balance

great: it felt a really healthy place to be. It doesn’t always feel that way

sheet. Our six cornerstones are profitable growth, customer

now. Having said that, we seem to have had a good winter this year.

centricity, operational transformation, people management, organisational agility and financial discipline.

How does the British Chamber of Commerce add value to your business?

One thing you’ve learnt recently that you didn’t know before? I was talking to someone who recently visited a piece of reclaimed land in Kowloon. It used to have the best place name

In a wide variety of ways. It’s an excellent source of information:

that I’ve ever heard – Gin Drinkers Bay. Conjures up all kinds of

it’s great in letting us know about changes in Hong Kong law,

images of days gone by – it’s a great pity that Gin Drinkers Bay

upcoming issues that we need to be aware of, who the movers

is no longer with us!

Thank you for your continued support June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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NEWS / NEW APPOINTMENTS

EC Harris announces acquisition of China’s MBPM

Midas Property arrives in Hong Kong

EC Harris, the international Built Asset Consultancy, has announced its acquisition of MB Project

Midas Property, the UK's leading property investment experts, has arrived in Hong

Management (MBPM), one of China’s premier project management consultants. The acquisition will

Kong offering its expertise in the international housing market. Midas Property's first

enable EC Harris to broaden its local delivery of built asset consultancy services to its blue chip and local

venture abroad will be overseen by Alister Betts and headed up by Jim Whiffin and

client base across China and other Asian markets.

Rebecca Finney who will direct operations in the country. Jim lived in Hong Kong

MBPM is a project management consultancy operating out of wholly-owned offices in Shanghai and

for almost 10 years where he started a number of successful businesses. It is this unrivalled knowledge of start-up businesses, coupled with his passion for property,

Beijing with over 30 employees. Following the deal, MBPM will operate under the EC Harris brand, creating a network of over 100 experienced professionals on the ground in three offices across China -

that will prove to be so invaluable to Midas Property as they begin to grow in SouthEast Asia.

Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Rebecca Finney, on the other hand, brings a wealth of experience in International

The acquisition of MBPM will provide clients with greater access to benchmark information and

Business Management. Having been brought up in her native China, Rebecca moved to

knowledge through its experience working in over 50 cities in China and expertise in the retail, education, corporate real estate, industrial and hotel sectors. MBPM Managing Director Mark Budden will become joint EC Harris regional leader for China with Simon Baxter. Combining the strength of the MBPM team, EC Harris will be targeting a number of sectors that have been identified for further growth within China

the UK over 10 years ago to study. Since graduating, Rebecca and her husband have set up a company helping businesses work more efficiently in China. It is her expertise in this field that will no doubt help Midas Property become a force to be reckoned with in the housing market.

including property, investors, retail, health and aviation.

Hudson reveals hiring expectations are still rising in Hong Kong and set another record According to the Hudson Report Q2 2011, expectations show a further rise this quarter. Overall, 69% of respondents say they will increase hiring in Q2, up from 66% the previous quarter. This is a new record, meaning that hiring expectations in Hong Kong remain at their highest level since The Hudson Report was launched in Q4 1998. “Even after a long period of growth, hiring expectations are still rising in Hong Kong and this quarter sets another record. Strong demand for talented candidates means that many employers see finding and retaining the right staff as critical challenges.” – James Carss, Executive General Manager – Hong Kong, Hudson The Legal sector reports the highest expectations this quarter, with 88% of respondents forecasting headcount growth. By far the steepest rise in expectations is reported by the Consumer sector, where 63% of respondents plan to expand headcount in Q2. Expectations are still rising in the IT&T sector and Manufacturing & Industrial sectors, while remaining fairly steady in both the Banking & Financial Services sector and in the Media / PR / Advertising sector.

Grant Thor nton Jingdu T ianhua, a member firm of the

Auditors and Hong Kong Securities Institute. He is also a fellow of the Association of International

global audit, tax and advisory organization Grant Thornton

Accountants and the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong.

International, has recently appointed William Chan as Partner, Tax Services.

Luxury lifestyle company, Quintessentially has recently appointed

William has 20 years of experience in providing tax services.

Emma Sherrard Matthew, former Chief Executive Officer for

Prior to joining Grant Thornton Jingdu Tianhua, he worked in

Quintessentially Asia Pacific, as the group’s Chief Executive Officer

Big Four firms in the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China. He

for its growing concierge business worldwide. Emma joined

is a Chartered Accountant (Institute of Chartered Accountants

Quintessentially in 2005 as Managing Director to set up their first

in England and Wales) and a Certified Public Accountant. He is also a Certified Tax

Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong and in 2008 was appointed CEO

Adviser (The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong).

for the region.

William's expertise focuses on tax due diligence and transaction-related tax advisory work,

Emma’s new role will focus on expanding Quintessentially’s network

including pre-deal structuring and post-deal integration tax services. He also specialises in

of offices around the world as well as enhancing the quality of the Member service experience.

cross-border tax advisory and has extensive experience in advising on suitable investment

She will continue to be based in Hong Kong where the Global CEO office will operate.

William Chan

structures and vehicles for multi-national companies investing in the PRC, and for PRC companies investing overseas. He has previously stationed in Shanghai for five years and advised on many domestic companies in their offshore acquisitions.

Emma Sherrard Matthew

“I am absolutely delighted to bring my international experience to the role of the group’s CEO,” says Emma. “The last few years have seen our business completely transform. We handled over 1 million requests from our members, and grew to 60 offices around the world. We are now looking to grow our portfolio of sister businesses in Asia, cement key corporate

Grant Thor nton Jingdu T ianhua, has also recently

partnerships and suppliers and expand into more countries over the coming year to ensure

appointed Charles Lo as Senior Advisor and is

that ultimately the member quality of service is constantly improving.”

responsible for developing and advising on business development strategy of advisory services across China,

PricewaterhouseCoopers has recently appointed Dr. Ronald Ling as Managing Director,

including Hong Kong.

Healthcare and as the East Asia / Southeast Asia Healthcare Leader, based in Singapore.

Charles has been in professional practice over 40 years,

Ronald has nearly two decades of experience working with healthcare organizations and

specialising in financial consulting. He spends most of his time advising clients on initial public offerings, corporate

other companies in Asia and the UK. He has helped to develop and finance some of Asia’s

Charles Lo

leading hospital, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and divestitures in the Greater China region. He has a sound knowledge in commercial laws and close working

Ronald has recently concluded ten years with Symphony Asia, a private equity firm which

relationship with lawyers and investment bankers.

has made long-term investments in several sectors, notably healthcare. As a Principal, then Partner, he held leadership roles with responsibilities across the lifespan of deals, including

Charles is a Certified Public Accountants (Practising) and a Chartered Accountant (member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales). He is a member of CPA Australia, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, Society of Chinese Accountants &

20

origination, evaluation, closing, post-investment monitoring and exit. He also served on the boards of several listed investee companies including Singapore-based Parkway Holdings, which he helped transform into South East Asia’s premier private hospital group.

www.britcha m .c o m

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NEW MEMBERS CORPORATE

ADDITIONAL

INDIVIDUAL

Burberry Asia Ltd

Clifford Chance

Laura Franks

Howard Lo

Paget Dare Bryan

Tel

Client Services Consultant

Partner

laurafranks@gmail.com

Tel

6380 6709

Tel

2825 8850

1A, Block 40, Siena One, Discovery Bay

howard.lo@burberry.com

Fax

2825 8800

Hong Kong

44/F, The Lee Gardens

paget.darebryan@cliffordchance.com

China Committee David Watt DTZ

33, Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay

28/F, Jardine House

Hamilton Le

Hong Kong

One Connaught Place, Central

Tel

Retail / Wholesale / Sourcing

Hong Kong

hamilton.le@aiesec.net

Legal

21/F, Seaview Commercial Building

Construction Industry Group Derek Smyth Gammon Construction

DHR International Asia Ltd

Chairs of Specialist Committees Business Policy Unit Tim Peirson-Smith Executive Counsel

6407 1103

6125 2246

21-24 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong

Caroline Edwards

MLI Limited

Managing Director, Hong Kong

Michael Somerville

Agnes Li

Education Committee Stephen Eno Baker & McKenzie

Tel

Chairman

Tel

caedwards@dhrinternational.com

Tel

2882 7338

agnesn@bec.org.hk

Suite 3608, 36/F, Two Exchange Square

Fax

2882 1808

2/F, Jockey Club Environment Building

Central, Hong Kong

mfsomerville@gmail.com

77 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong

Environment Committee Anne Kerr Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited

Executive Search

Suite 1601, 16/F, Chung Nam Building

Kowloon, Hong Kong

Financial Services Interest Group Debbie Annells Azure Tax Consulting HR Advisory Group Brian Renwick Boyden Search Global Executive ICT IT Committee Craig Armstrong Standard Chartered

2622 8812

9499 2000

1 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Hill and Knowlton Asia Ltd

Financial Services

Glenn Schloss

Mark Stoddart Tel

9740 0575

Regional Director, Corporate

Standard Life (Asia) Limited

mstoddart1@hotmail.com

Communications

Roy Halliday

2710, The Center

Tel

2894 6328

Chief Executive

99 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

Fax

2576 3551

Tel

2169 2552

glenn.schloss@hillandknowlton.com.hk

Fax

2169 0220

36/F, PCCW Tower, Taikoo Place

roy_halliday@standardlife.hk

979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay

40/F, Tower 1, Times Square

Hong Kong

1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay

PR & Marketing

Hong Kong

Smith Asia Limited

Insurance

Kevin Smith Director

Nerine Trust Company (Hong Kong) Limited

STARTUP

Towers Watson

Tel

6051 6633 2115 9818

Marketing & Communications Committee Adam O’Conor Ogilvy & Mather Group

Matthew Corbin

Simon Phipps

Fax

Executive Director

Director, Insurance Sector Services,

kevinsmith@asia.com

Tel

3125 1200

Asia Pacific

901, The Hong Kong Club Building

Fax

2537 7624

Tel

2593 4636

3A Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong

matthew.corbin@nerine.com.hk

Fax

2525 9706

Consultancy

Real Estate Committee Jeremy Sheldon Jones Lang LaSalle

3109, Tower 2, Lippo Centre

simon.phipps@towerswatson.com

89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Suites 2106-8, Central Plaza

The Contracts Group Ltd

Business Services

18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Christopher Morgan

Consultancy

Executive Director

Scottish Business Group Dr. Jim Walker Asianomics Limited Logistics Committee Mark Millar M Power Associates Small & Medium Enterprises Committee Kate Kelly Women in Business Committee Lisa Bowman DG3 Asia Limited YNetwork Committee Fiona Foxon Business Angel Programme Neil Orvay Asia Spa & Wellness Limited Tim Hay-Edie Pilot Simple Software

Quintessentially

Tel

2529 1696

Emma Sherrard

Fax

2866 2725

CEO - Asia Pacific

info@contractsgroupltd.com

Tel

2540 8595

Fax

2544 5595

emma@quintessentially.com 2/F, Teda Building, 87 Wing Lok Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Lifestyle & Fitness

YNETWORK

8/F, Tung Chiu Commercial Building

Nerine Trust Company

Construction

193 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

(Hong Kong) Limited Melanie Rihoy

WM Morrison (HK) Limited

Director

Robert Guard

Tel

3125 1200

Executive Director

Fax

2537 7624

Tel

6586 5174

melanie.rihoy@nerine.com.hk

bob.guard@wmmorrison.com.hk

OVERSEAS

3109, Tower 2, Lippo Centre

27/F, Railway Plaza

89 Queensway. Admiralty, Hong Kong

39 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui

The Stanley Gibbons Group Plc

Business Services

Kowloon, Hong Kong

Antony Grodecki

Retail / Wholesale / Sourcing

Director

Quintessentially

Tel

+44 1245 228490

Fiona Foxon

Fax

+44 7778 919298

Corporate Business Development

agrodecki@stanleygibbons.com

Manager

399 Strand, London, WC2R 0LX

Tel

2540 8595

United Kingdom

Fax

2544 5595

Financial Services

fiona.foxon@quintessentially.com 2/F, Teda Building, 87 Wing Lok Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Lifestyle & Fitness

22

www.britcha m .c o m

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2011/6/9 11:39:05 AM


EVENTS / MEMBER BENEFITS

Shaken Not Stirred 28th April 2011, Peak Cafe Bar

Kate Geraghty (Jack Morton), Kasia Sobotnicki (Jack Morton)

Caroline Cheung (Red Packet), Jessica Kwong (Red Packet), Candy Mo (Red Packet)

Xylia Leung (X Label Design), Hilary Chan

Dovenia Chow (The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong), Edward McKay (Manulife)

Linda Kempenaar (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Kenneth Yau (Regus)

Gary James (BDO), David Adams (The Executive Centre), Janet Yeung (The Executive Centre)

Amine Loukia (AGS Four Winds), Linda Kempenaar (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Winnie Hung (Lambert Brothers Insurance Brokers), Candy Mo (Red Packet), Jesmer Wong (Canon)

Lucy Jenkins (The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong), Viktoria Kish (International Study Programs)

Amine Loukia (AGS Four Winds), Becky Roberts (The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong)

Arielle Lushan, Mandy Cheng (The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong)

Mark Hadfield (Hong Kong Translation), Ivy Lui (AMPLMA), Ann Moir, Michael Moir (The Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Dave Simpson (Team Building Asia), Mabel Lam (InterContinental Hong Kong), Catherine Law (HSBC), Nick Homes (HSBC)

June 2011 • Vol 26 • No 6

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2011/6/9 11:39:10 AM


June