Letter seals fate of minimum commission
A letter from the government to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) calling for free competition in all industries is being seen by brokers as the end for the minimum commission fee.
The 15-member board will vote on whether the minimum commission should be scrapped as scheduled on April 1.
One HKEx director said the government's message was so strong there was almost no chance of the commission being maintained.
Wilfred Wong Wai-sum, chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, who was at the meeting, said the brokers told Mr Ma the 0.25 per cent minimum commission should be kept until market turnover improved.
A government source said the letter reaffirmed the policy from the 1999 market reform, which called for brokers to freely negotiate prices with their clients after demutualisation of the stock exchange. more