Emerging Markets : Hong Kong Escapes From Deflation



Khiem Do

Hong Kongs economy has emerged from a deflationary period, and property prices in the special administrative region are on the rise, says Khiem Do, head of Asia Pacific equities at Baring Asset Management, which has been part of MassMutual Financial since March.

Do and his team are responsible for managing more than $2.3 billion in assets, including the Asia Pacific Fund and the Greater China Fund. His pick for investors seeking to take advantage of Hong Kongs property rebound is Henderson Land Development, which manages residential properties.

The formal opening of Hong Kong Disneyland last month is expected to give a further boost to the local economy. The theme park is projected to attract more than 5 million visitors in its first year, one-third of them from China.

Do says the deregulation of tourism from China is providing a boost to Hong Kongs economy, which grew 6.5% in the first half of 2005, faster than most economists predicted. Chinese visitors to Hong Kong are now allowed to spend more money and to come as individuals instead of only as part of tour groups, Do says. He also says property prices in Taiwan are attractive and that they could go through the roof if Taiwan develops a more harmonious relationship with China.

Gordon Platt