Executive Council convenor Regina Ip on Saturday said the headline of a interview she had done with Bloomberg created a misunderstanding, but added that she would be more careful with her words in the future, after her comments on stamp duty led to a rise in property developer shares.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, Ip had suggested Hong Kong could waive the double stamp duty for mainland buyers, and said it was among policies under consideration to shore up the local economy, triggering a rally in local developer shares.
But property shares edged lower after the Financial Secretary's Office clarified that the government had no plans to relax stamp duty on home purchases.
Ip later said waiving the stamp duty was only an idea of her New People's Party, one that she would put forward to the Chief Executive John Lee during his policy address consultations.
"In fact, the stock market fluctuations were caused by the Bloomberg article headline because I was responding to a question on how to attract talent and said it could be considered. But the Bloomberg headline said the government had been considering it, causing some misunderstanding," she told reporters on Saturday.
"The interview was conducted in a short period of time. Of course, I will be more careful and explain things more clearly in the future."
But Ip also said an Exco convenor would have no influence at all if that person didn't make any remarks.
She said, for example, former convenor to the top advisory and policy-making body Bernard Chan had worked hard in the past to explain government policies to foreign media.