Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong and Seoul followed Beijing in increasing taxi fares for the first time in years after disgruntled cab drivers complained they weren’t getting paid enough to be hailed all day. Starting Dec. 8, the base fare in Hong Kong island will rise for the first time since 2011, increasing by HK$2 ($0.26) to HK$22 for the first 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), the government said on its website yesterday. In Seoul, the base fare will rise by 600 won ($0.56) to 3,000 won, the first increase since 2009, though the starting date will be determined later, the city said in an e-mailed statement.The cost of a Hong Kong taxi license surged to a record HK$7.66 million earlier this year, while Korean cab drivers last year were so dissatisfied with their incomes that they went on strike for the first time. In Beijing, it became so widespread for commuters to book cabs by offering more than the metered fare that the city government banned such smartphone apps, according to the China Daily.

Still, cab fares in Asia — excluding Japan — are typically less expensive than in other major cities around the world. Even after the increase, the minimum fares in Hong Kong and Seoul will be more than 20 percent cheaper than in London and about 60 percent cheaper than in Tokyo. Cabs in New York start at $2.50, though that only covers one-fifth of a mile.

In Hong Kong, the meter will add HK$1.60 for every 200 meters after the initial 2 kilometers from HK$1.50 now. Base fares and incremental charges will also rise by HK$2 and HK$0.10, respectively, for taxis in the New Territories and Lantau, according to the government statement. The price changes are still subject to approval from the Legislative Council next month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rose Kim in Seoul at rkim76@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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