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Lead story:

AFTER THE CRISIS
Getting Rid of the Rust: Three years after the Crisis, many in the Asiaweek Financial 500 are in the black. Will profitability last?

NATIONS UPDATE
Mini-charts on your nation's banking market:
Australia China IndonesiaJapanPhilippinesSingaporeSouth KoreaTaiwan Thailand Hong Kong Malaysia
and the best performing banks in India Sri LankaPakistanBangladesh

ASIA'S HOTTEST STOCKS

Money and Investing: Riding the hottest financial stocks in Asia (plus the 100 hottest bank stocks)

PLUS
Foreign Invasion?: Overseas banks go slow on buyouts
Technology: The nitty gritty of Internet banking
Halfway at full speed: Hong Kong and Singapore rebound
The Acquired: What Danu Bank learned form its new owner
The Home-Alone Bank: Why Taiwan's Chinatrust didn't expand


Financial 500 Archive
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1996 | 1995


Asiaweek 1000
Your guide to Asia's 1000 largest companies

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Hong Kong: Lean and Planning to Diet
Snapshot: 26 banks in the 500 (1999: 26) Assets: $398.2b. ($370.1b.) Profits: $4.6b. ($3.5b.)


Things are looking up for Hong Kong banks. The U.S. Federal Reserve may be done with interest rate hikes for the foreseeable future. The local economic recovery is in full swing and China's growth seems back on track. Hong Kong banks are already among the region's leanest. But is a fiercely competitive environment becoming destructive?

RESTRUCTURING For years, a shakeout among Hong Kong's family-owned banks has been predicted. It may be happening. One small bank, First Pacific, is on the block. At least two more are likely to be put up for sale. Expect Singapore institutions to be buyers. They may be willing to pay top dollar whereas the locals want discounts.

LENDING Corporates have been tapping capital markets and the property sector has been sluggish, both of which have depressed bank lending. Expect a recovery early next year after the property market revives a bit.

REGULATION The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has nearly succeeded in destroying Hong Kong's once-cozy banking cartel.


Performance Topnotchers: 10 Best Performing Banks
   Institution
Assets
$ Mill
Profits
$ Mill
Profit as % of

500

Rank

Assets Equity
1
HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING
209,986
2,295.5
1.1%
22.5%
14
2
HANG SENG BANK
56,676
1,065.0
1.9%
21.0%
38
3
BANK OF EAST ASIA
18,633
190.9
1.0%
9.9%
117
4
DAO HENG BANK
16,907
153.4
0.9%
10.4%
123
5
NANYANG COMMERCIAL BANK
11,006
71.2
0.6%
5.6%
171
6
WING LUNG BANK
7,658
109.7
1.4%
14.0%
197
7
SHANGHAI COMMERCIAL BANK
7,406
122.0
1.6%
11.8%
203
8
WING HANG BANK
6,467
87.6
1.4%
14.1%
224
9
PO SANG BANK
6,326
115.5
1.8%
10.4%
226
10
CITIC KA WAH BANK
6,254
13.9
0.2%
2.0%
230

Write to Asiaweek at mail@web.asiaweek.com

Rating show the number of banks in each category; "E" is the lowest grade for financial soundness. Souce: Moody's Investors Service


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