Accounting news


U.S. delays tariff hike on Chinese imports

United States President Donald Trump said the U.S. would delay an increase in tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods originally scheduled for 1 March. In a tweet, Trump said there had been “substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues.” He also said that if Washington and Beijing made additional progress, his administration would plan for a new summit with China’s President Xi Jinping, at the U.S. president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to conclude an agreement. Stocks in China and Hong Kong rose in early trading on 25 February following the news.

Beijing unveils Greater Bay Area blueprint

The central government of China published its long-anticipated document setting out its Greater Bay Area development plan to integrate Hong Kong and 10 cities around the Pearl River Delta. The 11-chapter document, released this month, confirms that Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou would be the four key cities and the core engines for driving growth in nearby regions. It says the framework for the bay area should be defined by 2022, and realized by 2035. It also mentions goals and directions to push the development forward, such as improving infrastructural connectivity and quality of life, building a globally competitive commerce and industrial system, protecting the environment, and energy security, as well as supporting the Belt and Road Initiative.

BDO officially fifth-largest firm in U.K.

BDO is now the fifth-largest accounting firm in the United Kingdom after it completed its merger with Moore Stephens earlier this month. The merger gives BDO a combined workforce of 5,000 staff members and 350 partners working across the U.K. The firm is expected deliver revenues of £590 million, more than Grant Thornton. “This merger is one of growth and creates a new force in the market, enabling us to challenge our existing competition and deliver an increasingly impressive range of services to help our people and clients succeed,” said Simon Gallagher, former chief executive officer of Moore Stephens and now Head of Advisory at BDO.

HKEX to buy Shenzhen-based FinTech company

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has signed a letter to buy a 51 percent stake in Shenzhen Ronghui Tongjin Technology, as part of its efforts to upgrade its technology capabilities, the South China Morning Post reported this month. Ronghui Tongjin is a subsidiary of Shanghai-listed Shenzhen Kingdom Sci-Tech, and specializes in financial exchanges, regulation technologies and data applications. “Technology capacities will be an important element for the HKEX to compete with other stock exchanges,” said lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, who represents the financial services constituency in the Legislative Council. Brokers believe the deal, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter, will enable HKEX to become a depository and settlement company. 

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