Real Estate: Four Seasons penthouse sells for $28-million CDN in Toronto

“Luxury has a new price tag.

The 55th-floor penthouse of the new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Toronto has been sold for $28-million, the highest price ever fetched for a Canadian condominium. The buyer – who made the company sign a non-disclosure agreement – is from out of the country.”

Hmmmmm, anyone betting China?

Full story here.

CBC story here.  Interesting bit:

Former BMO president Tony Comper used to hold the record for the most expensive condo in the city, laying down $15 million for the penthouse on 1 St. Thomas Street several years ago. But that was eclipsed by the $20 million billionaire Alex Shnaider reportedly paid for the penthouse at the yet-to-open Trump International Hotel & Tower.



Insurance: Chamber member e-Kong making waves in Insurance

e-Kong, Chaired by Chamber Governor and telecoms legend Rick Siemens is all about telecomms?  Or is it?

Telecom solutions provider e-Kong Group (0524) is trying its hand at insurance by providing an online platform for brokerages and hoping to boost penetration of such services locally.

“It is not new because online insurance has more than 50 percent penetration in the US market, but it is new to the agent-driven traditional Hong Kong market,” said John Laroche, chief executive at insurance intermediary and network marketers Relevant Marketing Group.”


e-Kong has clearly recruited Hong Kong’s finest in John Laroche, another Chamber member and Chair of the Hong Kong Typhoons.


Chamber member SG Lim gets in on the action:


“The platform is already in place and we do not have to invest extra money,” Lim said, while stressing that the venture does not mean the group is shifting to the insurance business.

“We want to tap industries where we don’t deliver `physical goods,”‘ he said. “We are making a bigger pie here, rather than competing with traditional insurance distribution channels.”


Get the full story at The Standard here.

Banking: How RBC grew out of the global financial crisis

From The Globe and Mail: 

In July, 2008, as the first sparks of the financial crisis began to fly, Lehman Brothers president Bart McDade told the investment bank’s top executive, Richard Fuld, that Lehman was reaching out to Royal Bank of Canada(RY-T57.36-1.79-3.03%) for help.

Although Mr. McDade had no way of knowing it, two months later Lehman, then the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, would collapse. What he did know was that the beleaguered company needed assistance from a stronger financial institution.

The Canadian bank certainly wasn’t the first that Lehman’s executives approached. But the answer from RBC’s executives was definitive: We have no interest in buying Lehman, nor in making an investment in it.

Mark Standish, co-CEO of the business, says the crisis simply allowed RBC to accelerate its hiring and the implementation of its growth plan.

“We’re in much better shape today than we’ve ever been because we have a broader business, from a geographic standpoint, and we have a much deeper business from a product and expertise standpoint.”

With that in mind, the business is ramping up its growth in Asia, where it hired more than 100 people last year, bringing its staff in the region to about 350. It opened a new trading floor in Hong Kong in November, doubling its capacity, and it is now creating a new position, head of capital markets in Asia.





Read the full story here.


Kids Summer Camp: Have a Great Summer at Grand Lapa, Macau!

Our New Kids Summer Camp

Now is the perfect time to start planning summer activities for the kids.  From Monday, 4 July 2011, Grand Lapa is offering a new summer camp programme with a diverse selection of more than 20 activities, kids will be entertained from 10am-3:30pm (Monday – Thursday include lunch). View Details

Day Camp: MOP 660 | Weekly camp: MOP 1,980 (4 days)

*5% government and tourism tax

For enquiries, please call The Kids Co. at +853 8793 4820 


Supplement room rate (incl. BBF) are HKD/MOP 1,499 (Sunday to Thursday) and  HKD/MOP 1,899 (Friday to Saturday). All rates are subject to 10% service charge and 5% government tourism tax unless otherwise stated and are subject to room availability.  For reservations and enquiries, please call the Hong Kong toll-free number on 800 967 338, send a fax to 800 968 128 or e-mail



Tax: Canada and Hong Kong to Negotiate a Double Taxation Agreement

The announcement from the Canadian federal government here.

And what do you think?  Comment below.

May 19, 2011

Negotiations for an income tax treaty between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China will commence the week of June 27, 2011, in Ottawa.

The purpose of this bulletin is to ensure that persons whose interests are affected have an opportunity to inform the government of any particular issues of double taxation that might be taken into account during the course of negotiations. The government is particularly interested in learning of any difficulties that might be encountered by Canadians under the tax system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

Persons wishing to offer comments concerning the negotiations may send their views to:

Department of Finance
17th Floor, East Tower
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0G5