The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival as it is more commonly known as, on
the mainland, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is
also termed the Lunar New Year and on Friday, January 31, the Year of the Wood
Horse begins. In the old days, people liked to call an able person 'Qianli Ma,'
a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li is about 500 metres). From our
base in Malaysia where Chinese account for about 30% of the population, Finfacts
will have restricted coverage on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, a brokerage and investment group based in Hong
Kong , has launched its 20th annual
CLSA Feng Shui
Index (CLSA FSI) - - a tongue-in-cheek financial forecast for the coming Year
of the Wood Horse, with a focus on the Hang Seng Index, key market sectors,
world leaders and celebrities, and each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. All
based on little more than a whisper of wind (feng)
and a babble of water (shui).
"How do we see the bourse under the influence of the Horse? We conclude that this
Pony is un
toro in toto - pure bull from
teeth to tail. Its fortune chart may not be the best balanced, but it is full of
Fire - the intrinsic element that’s widely regarded as the driver of investor
This is especially so for the Hang
Seng Index, as Fire is also its “lucky element”. We uncovered so many
unexpected connections, coincidences and links between the HSI and this Wood
Horse that we discern a definite Casablanca connection - ‘the beginning of a
beautiful friendship’. And one that should be very rewarding. Our “pure bull”
forecast sees the index hit 28,105.
Positive, powerful and race-paced - there’s much to like about the Horse. It’s
also well positioned: At No.7 in the zodiac, the Horse kicks off the second half
of the 12-year cycle. Traditionally, the vital force or energy known as qi is
considered to be spent or stale half-way through a cycle - the Horse heralds the
arrival of the so-called second wind - a burst of invigorating fresh qi.
Once again, this year’s CLSA
Feng Shui Index features a
month-by-month guide to the HSI, the outlook for key sectors, four-sphere
forecasts for each zodiac sign, our popular Hong Kong property guide, and fates
of some famous faces – the likes of US Fed chair apparent Janet
Yellen, Japan’s Shinzo
Abe, Alibaba’s Jack
Ma Yun and futbol capital Rio
Our Sector-selector Element Detector suggests we’ll see the best
performances from businesses
associated with Wood (retail, soft commodities, plantations . . . plantations?)
and also Fire (the likes of internet, tech, telecoms, some oil & gas and power
Among the zodiac signs, the Horse favours Tigers, Sheep
(Goats) and Dogs.
Those that may be in for a more challenging ride are Rats, Cows and Rabbits.
But then pluck beats luck every time. Kung
hei fat choi! And may the Horse
be with you."
Besides, being the world's
most populous country, it's no surprise that China has a big diaspora and the
ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia are termed as the people from Nanyang - - the
South Sea. The Chinese use practical location names e.g. Beijing is
North City; Nanjing - - the capital city until 1421 is South City; Tokyo is
called East City and the Japanese word for East Sea is Tokai.
can speak Mandarin and their regional dialect. The people of China's industrial
heartland, the Pearl River delta province of
Guangdong, north of Hong Kong, speak Cantonese as
Hongkies (residents of HK) do. Napoleon Bonaparte had a role to play in the
predominance of Hokkien, the dialect of the southern region of Fujian province
(north of Guangdong)
in two separate islands in Southeast Asia: Penang, northwest of Peninsular
Malaysia (south of Thailand) and Singapore, off the southern tip of Malaysia.
his brother King of Holland in 1806 and in London, the exiled Prince of Orange
had entrusted protection to the British for the Dutch colony of the East Indies
(modern Indonesia) and the fortified trading post of Malacca on the coast of
south Malaysia. However,
Townsend Farquhar, the British
governor of Penang, ordered the destruction of the Dutch fort in Malacca as he
saw it as a trading rival for Penang. Chinese Hokkien settlers were urged to
move to Penang.
Some years later, Stamford
Raffles of the East India Company, selected the island of Temasek (Sea
Town in Javanese, now
known as Singapore, the Lion City) as a better location for a trading post than
Penang and Raffles used a succession dispute embroiling the Sultanate of Johor
to get the necessary local agreement. Meantime, the part of the Hokkien
population, who had not moved north to Penang, crossed the Straits to the
island, as did the Japanese in early 1942 to receive the greatest surrender of
British forces in history, from General Arthur Percival, who had commanded the
Essex Regiment in Bandon, my hometown, in 1919.
Gōng xǐ fā cái !
- the traditional Chinese New
Year's greeting in Mandarin means may prosperity be with you.
I'm heading to Ipoh, Wednesday, which had a tin mining boom in the 1930s.
Last week, The Washington Post had a feature on the
An accidental trip to Ipoh, Malaysia