LC Paper No. CB(1) 90/98-99

Ref : CB1/PL/FA/1

Legislative Council
Panel on Financial Affairs

Minutes of Meeting held on
Tuesday, 14 July 1998, at 9:20 am
in Conference Room B of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP (Chairman)
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP

Members absent :

Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Margaret NG
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP

Clerk in attendance :

Ms Estella CHAN,
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)4

Staff in attendance :

Ms Pauline NG,
Assistant Secretary General 1

Mr Daniel HUI,
Senior Assistant Secretary (1) 5

Mr Andy LAU,
Senior Assistant Secretary (1) 6

I Election of Chairman and Deputy Chairman

In accordance with the election procedure circulated to members on 11 July 1998 under LC Paper No. CB(1) 13/98-99, the Clerk called for nominations for the presiding Member.

2. Mr James TO Kun-sun was nominated by Mr Jasper TSANG Yok-sing and seconded by Mr David CHU Yu-lin. Mr James TO Kun-sun accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, the Clerk declared that Mr James TO Kun-sun was elected as the presiding Member.

Election of Chairman

3. Mr James TO Kun-sun took the chair and called for nominations for the chairmanship of the Panel.

4. Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen was nominated by Mr David CHU Yu-lin and seconded by Mr Jasper TSANG Yok-sing. Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, Mr James TO Kun-sun declared that Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen was elected as Chairman of the Panel. Mr Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen then took the chair.

Election of Deputy Chairman

5. The Chairman called for nominations for the deputy chairmanship of the Panel.

6. Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung was nominated by Mr Ronald ARCULLI and seconded by Mr Bernard CHAN. Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, the Chairman declared that Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung was elected as Deputy Chairman of the Panel.

II Schedule of meetings for the 1998-99 session

7. Members agreed that regular meetings of the Panel would be held on the first Monday of each month at 10:45 am. Members also agreed that no regular meeting would be scheduled for August 1998 during the summer recess of the Council.

III Discussion items for next meeting
(List of issues to be considered)

8. Members agreed to discuss the following issues at the next meeting scheduled for 7 September 1998 at 10:45 am:

  1. Report on Financial Market Review; and

  2. Regulation on share margin financing.

9. A member suggested that the Panel should review the present mechanism to defend Hong Kong dollar and consider if there were other more effective means apart from the present measure. He considered it necessary to invite academics and market practitioners to give views on the subject and invite the Administration to respond to these views.

10. Members deliberated and agreed that the scope of the study should be broadened to the protection of Hong Kong's economy from speculative attacks on the Hong Kong dollar.

11. Whilst detailed logistical arrangements and attendance for the meetings had yet to be worked out, members generally agreed that there should at least be two meetings to allow sufficient time for the academics and market practitioners to present their views and for the Administration to respond. As it was anticipated that there would be public discussions on the subject after the first hearing, the second meeting should be scheduled to allow the Panel to digest the feedback from the public. It was also agreed that at least twenty minutes should be allowed for each deputation to present its views and answer questions from members.

12. Members also agreed that since it was not possible to invite all academics and market practitioners, it would be advisable to invite written submissions. The Secretariat would draw up a list of the academics and market practitioners who had given views on the subject for members' consideration.

13. In response to a member's suggestion of allowing discussion among members and those invited to the meetings, members considered that the established practice in Legislative Council meetings of having attendees speaking through the chair should be adhered to. Nevertheless, the Panel could explore other alternative forums which allowed interactive discussion among the participants.

14. As regards the reserach services which could be provided by the Secretariat, Assistant Secretary General 1 advised that apart from drawing up the list of the academics and market practitioners for shortlisting, the Secretariat would be able to put together relevant articles written by experts on the subject, including views expressed through interviews and in the press. The Clerk would also assist the Panel in summarizing, and analysing the views or proposals expressed at the hearings. Research on specific topics arising from the discussion could be carried out as deemed necessary.

IV Any other business

15. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 10:00 am.

Legislative Council Secretariat
29 July 1998