Two prominent experts in real estate and stock markets respectively shared their views on the current market situation with around 100 alumni at a forum organised by the Alumni Relations Office at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 28 November.
The forum was arranged to strengthen the bond between alumni and their alma mater, and among the alumni themselves.
The forum, titled “Investment Wisdom in a Turbulent Economy”, was supported by the CityU Convocation as event partner and sponsored by the CityU Eminence Society, an association for senior alumni.
The two guest speakers were Mr Shih Wing-ching, founder and Director of Centaline Group, and Ms Agnes Wu Mang-ching, a CityU alumna and a renowned stock market commentator. The forum was facilitated by alumnus, Mr Andy Wong Man-hon.
In his welcoming address, Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Development and External Relations), said he was grateful for the alumni’s enthusiastic support for their alma mater. He encouraged them to take part more in the University’s activities and continue to support CityU’s development.
In the sharing session, Mr Shih said many people in Hong Kong wanted to buy a flat for living in and that they could fulfill their dream if they were willing to lower their demands. Hong Kong’s housing market was booming last year but the new buyer’s stamp duty and a special stamp duty imposed by the HKSAR government plus uncertainties over the global economy had served to significantly cool people’s desire to buy into the market.
“My first house has only 200 square feet,” he said, “There are still a lot of choices for first-time buyers if they don’t mind smaller flats.” He added that buying a house was the only way to achieve the dual purpose of owning a tangible asset and make an investment. One had to own an asset in order to share in the success of the economy, he added.
However, Ms Wu said Hong Kong property, at current prices, was unlikely to appreciate as much as property in first-tier cities like Shanghai on the mainland, adding that converting a property investment into cash was currently quite tough.
Buying or selling a house was relatively straightforward when the market was flourishing, but less so in a slumping market, making the property market less flexible than stocks.
“There is no stock that one must or must not buy. The price of a stock might go up or down. Even the price of the worst stock may surge dramatically,” she said.
After the well-received forum, which was part of the CityU Alumni Forum Series, Ms Kathy Chan Yin-ling, Associate Vice-President (Alumni Relations), presented souvenirs to the speakers and the facilitator. Participants who had registered via the mobile app of the Alumni Relations Office had the chance to win a prize in the lucky draw held later by the Office.
The University will continue to organise regular forums on different topics and invite leaders in related professional sectors as guest speakers. The objective is to enhance idea exchange and experience sharing among alumni, foster linkages and help expand social networks.