Em­peror puts cap­i­tal in safe hands

Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group looks for­ward to be­com­ing a greater draw for main­land in­vestors with its one-stop so­lu­tions, CEO Daisy Ye­ung tells So­phie He.

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG -

Daisy Ye­ung hopes more in­vestors from the main­land will be­come cus­tomers of Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group, which she heads.

The com­pany’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer is the daugh­ter of Al­bert Ye­ung Sau-shing, Hong Kong en­ter­tain­ment mogul and Em­peror Group chair­man. She voiced her hopes in re­call­ing how Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group was founded in 1993 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Ex­change in April 2007.

In 2003, the com­pany be­gan re­struc­tur­ing and ex­pand­ing its busi­ness, branch­ing out into wealth man­age­ment, as­set man­age­ment, fi­nanc­ing and cor­po­rate fi­nance. The com­pany has gone from be­ing a tra­di­tional bro­ker­age to a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion that can pro­vide one-stop in­vest­ment ser­vices to its cus­tomers, Ye­ung told China Daily.

“In re­cent years, we’ve been ac­tively devel­op­ing our fi­nanc­ing busi­ness, we’ve just made an an­nounce­ment that we are plac­ing bonds to raise about HK$1.2 bil­lion ($154.7 mil­lion). We will use the cap­i­tal to con­tinue to de­velop our fi­nanc­ing busi­nesses,” said Ye­ung.

She noted that in the past five to six years, the in­vest­ment mar­ket in Hong Kong has been very ac­tive, but in­vestors are not al­ways able to get cus­tom- made and con­ve­nient loans from com­mer­cial banks. That is where Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group sees op­por­tu­ni­ties, she said, adding that the profit mar­gin of its fi­nanc­ing busi­ness has been very sat­is­fac­tory.

Ye­ung also said that since 2015, Em­peror Cap­i­tal has been hir­ing ad­di­tional staff to fur­ther de­velop its real-es­tate mort­gage busi­ness.

“We were do­ing the mort­gage busi­ness be­fore but the scale was very lim­ited. Since the mid­dle of 2015, we have hired a new team, with over 20 em­ploy­ees, to pro­vide pri­mary and sec­ondary mort­gages to home buy­ers.”

Mean­while, Em­peror Cap­i­tal is op­ti­miz­ing its on­line trad­ing plat­form, as now cus­tomers, es­pe­cially those from the Chi­nese main­land, are used to plac­ing or­ders over the in­ter­net, ac­cord­ing to Ye­ung.

“We are very bullish about the mar­ket on the Chi­nese main­land, so hope­fully our trad­ing plat­form will at­tract more main­land cus­tomers.”

At the be­gin­ning of 2015, the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of the “Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment En­trant Scheme”. But by then Em­peror Cap­i­tal al­ready had a ros­ter of over 1,000 high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als (HNWIs) from the main­land as cus­tomers through the scheme. Ye­ung said th­ese HNWIs have been us­ing Em­peror Cap­i­tal’s on­line trad­ing plat­form to in­vest in Hong Kong stocks. The com­pany wants to ex­pand its main­land cus­tomer base and hope­fully more HNWIs will be­come its cus­tomers.

“HNWIs are our valu­able cus­tomers, as they have great de­mand in terms of in­vest­ments which means great busi­ness po­ten­tial for us,” Ye­ung ex­plained, adding that the com­pany has taken the time to talk to its HNWI cus­tomers one by one, try­ing to un­der­stand their de­mands and help­ing them make in­vest­ment de­ci­sions.

With three of­fices on the Chi­nese main­land, in Shang­hai, Beijing and Guangzhou, Em­peror Cap­i­tals has plans to con­tinue to hire more staff for th­ese of­fices as it be­lieves it should fo­cus on devel­op­ing the main­land mar­ket in the fu­ture.

“I hope that Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group will be­come a com­pany that is well known to main­land cus­tomers. I know that main­land peo­ple are quite fa­mil­iar with Em­peror En­ter­tain­ment Group and Em­peror Watch and Jew­ellery. I hope that some­day main­land cus­tomers would be fa­mil­iar with our Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group,” said Ye­ung.

The 50-year-old re­ceived her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion in 1988 from the Univer­sity of San Fran­cisco, and in Jan­uary 1991 she re­turned to Hong Kong.

“I ma­jored in in­for­ma­tion sys­tems,” said Ye­ung. “Af­ter I grad­u­ated I worked in one of the de­part­ments of the Univer­sity of San Fran­cisco to help them com­put­er­ize their en­tire sys­tem. I didn’t want to come back to Hong Kong at first, but my fa­ther and my sis­ter talked me back into work­ing for the fam­ily.”

Ye­ung re­called that when she had just got back, she tried to do a lot of dif­fer­ent things for the fam­ily busi­ness. She did ad­min­is­tra­tive work, mar­ket­ing work and even worked in the le­gal depart­ment for a while. But her fa­ther strongly rec­om­mended that she be­come an ac­coun­tant.

“As a busi­ness owner, my fa­ther be­lieved that ac­coun­tants are very important to a com­pany and wanted me to un­der­stand the num­bers and data of his busi­ness. But even­tu­ally I de­cided that I didn’t want to be an ac­coun­tant. I liked meet­ing with cus­tomers rather than deal­ing with num­bers,” she said.

A few years later, Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group was founded, and Ye­ung said she was very ex­cited and joined the com­pany al­most im­me­di­ately. “Since I was a child, I have been very in­ter­ested in stocks and in­vest­ments,” she re­vealed.

Ye­ung said she has wit­nessed many sig­nif­i­cant events in the Hong Kong stock mar­ket since she joined Em­peror Cap­i­tal Group, from the stock mar­ket crash of 1997, the burst­ing of the dot-com bub­ble in 2000, the SARS (Se­vere Acute Re­s­pi­ra­tory Syn­drome) out­break in 2003 to the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008.

“All of th­ese have pro­vided me with knowl­edge and lessons that can’t be learned from books,” said Ye­ung.

What she has learned is that many re­tail in­vestors in Hong Kong do not un­der­stand the im­por­tance of “cut­ting losses”.

“I’ve seen too many in­vestors who know when to leave the mar­ket when they are mak­ing money. Un­for­tu­nately, not enough of them know when to leave the mar­ket when they are los­ing money.”

Not many peo­ple have the courage to cut losses in time, Ye­ung said, adding that she has seen many stocks drop from over HK$20 per share to just sev­eral cents apiece. Many in­vestors ex­pected them to bounce back, but they never did. “If I can give in­vestors one piece of ad­vice, I would sug­gest that they draw a line, a bot­tom line that they should stand firmly by. You need to tell your­self, maybe 15 per­cent of your bot­tom line, once you lose more than that, you have to cut losses, you need to be very per­sis­tent about it,” Ye­ung signed off.

Con­tact the writer at so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

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