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Power Chief To Head Chamber

Scarlett Chiang – Updated on May 16, 2008 – SCMP

The chief executive of electricity supplier CLP Holdings, Andrew Brandler, has been elected General Chamber of Commerce chairman, replacing Lily Chiang Lai-lei.

Chiang, the first woman to head the group, has been charged with fraud.

She has been on leave of absence since January after the Independent Commission Against Corruption disclosed charges alleging she was involved in a HK$7.5 million share-option fraud.

Mr Brandler, the former deputy chairman, had been acting chairman until yesterday’s election at the annual general meeting.

Chiang did not seek re-election as a committee member and did not attend the meeting.

Asked about the relationship between the chamber and Chiang, Mr Brandler said it was “not appropriate to talk about it”.

“I appreciate the active work she has done in the past 16 years as a member and the contribution she made as the chair,” he said. “I wish her well.”

Mr Brandler would not say if Chiang was still a member of the chamber, saying just that her company was.

Ernest & Young senior adviser and Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk was elected deputy chairman.

The three vice-chairmen are managing director and deputy chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, chief executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) He Guangbei and chairman of KK Yeung Management Consultants K.K. Yeung.

Mr Brandler predicted that the economy would continue to grow, although inflation would slow the rate of growth later in the year.

Asked about a possible minimum-wage law, Mr Brandler said legislation was not the best way to solve the problems of the poor. .

“We question whether legislation on a minimum wage is the right way to do that,” he said. “Looking at other countries, a minimum wage drives up unemployment.”

The chamber’s chief economist, David O’Rear, said he expected first-quarter GDP, to be announced today, would continue to show strong growth.

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