Following the last local Panda-tantrum, Raw Nerve Freak-Out du Jour comes courtesy of Apple Daily, which reports that Beijing’s Liaison Office is abusing its tax-free privileges by purchasing Hong Kong apartments and letting them out to regular non-employee folks. This prompts criticism from opposition lawmakers, such as James To, who says Hongkongers will resent Beijing’s colonial overseers ‘competing with them’ for housing. The prefect-governor’s office duly goes into mouth-frothing mode and threatens to sue Apple Daily for defamation.
The satraps can’t win. If they are letting the units out to ordinary people, they are cheating on the stamp-duty exemption; if they are hogging the units for their own staff posted from the mainland (or leaving the places empty), they are depriving locals of housing.
But the Liaison Office perhaps has even more reason to be sensitive on this issue. The reports suggest that it has been acquiring some of these flats fairly recently. So these would be new developments – which is to say rather nasty, and definitely steeply priced. After a decade of global asset-price inflation, with locally added stimulus, Hong Kong residential property would not be most prudent people’s idea of a wise, value-for-money investment right now. The Beijing officials might have their own agenda, but simply being seen buying our local little concrete boxes at these prices is a bit humiliating.
Oh. So the Liaison Office is propping up the property market and, having propped up property tycoons for two decades, this is news.
You are reading too much into it, it’s probably just the 5 directors-cum-officials of this shell company doing the usual misappropriation of public funds, no grand plan behind that.
Apologies to Knownot and the Lord’s Prayer but below is comment on SCMP website edition on Tuesday 5th March 2019. Sadly I have nothing to do.
Oh dear leader,
Cast out the evil doers
Reject their values
Refuse their human rights
For only you have the right
All their [your?] actions prove true
The devils act against your will
Suppress all that oppose you
Once again your word and actions prove you are the One.
Can anyone advise me as to why the Liaison Office would buy these properties thru a company that is named “Newman Investment” without permission of Mr. Newman to use his family name? Can he seek legal address?
@Newman : You cannot sue the Liaison Office but they can definitely sue you for picking quarrels and provoking trouble.
Join the queue Mark.
The good burgers of Newman CA have already filed.
As have the owners of the Newman GoGo and Strip Club.