Finance

The Hong Kong Housing Market

Hong Kong well illustrates patterns of a distinct Asian business model that has resulted in the growth and influence of large gargantuan business enterprises. The Hong Kong housing market is dominated by a hand full of these large companies that include Cheung Kong, Henderson Land, and SHK PPT among others. The growth of Cheung Kong, for example, underscores specific ways of pursuing business and industrial growth based on certain Asian principles and management styles. These styles project paternalistic family control and trust and the respectful acceptance of authority. Pyramid structures of benefit permeate the leadership hierarchy of these Asian firms along with family cross-shareholdings of subsidiary companies.Hong Kong’s rapid economic growth is described by Xiabin et al (2004) as a period of economic restructuring that has seen the country evolve from a manufacturing center to a business, commerce and finance center, with most of its working force moving into the service industries. Influenced by processes of economic liberalisation, globalization, and government downsizing, the restructuring has resulted in a net rise of the middle-income population of Hong Kong, but since 1971 there has been a profound drop in the sharing of income by the bottom households while the income of the top 30% has shown a continual increase in income share (pp. 447-451). The authors note there has been a steady exacerbation of income inequality in Hong Kong over the past 35 years (p. 452) and, There is no evidence of wealth trickling down from the top to the bottom (p. 457).Nor have adequate services been expanded for the bottom poor. Xiabin et al (2004) emphasize the unsympathetic government policy of minimum intervention as a major factor in the ongoing policy of inequality. Resources provided for social welfare are sparse in comparison to resources for the more favored

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