Previous Years

Metal Rabbit:

03 Feb 2011 – 22 Jan 2012

This was the year of the yoga bunny: the downward-facing rabbit. For the first half of the year you might have thought that there was a little overgrazing, as patches of the market seemed to be eaten bare by too many rabbits. From August to October, the Hang Seng fell 30%, everyone was losing money and there was no need to rabbit in. The furry beasts had fleas; they were all bugs bunny. By the time the culling was over, there was barely any grass left and certainly no bucks well spent. Come the close of the year, the Hang Seng recovered to losing a slightly less 25%.

  • Feb 13
    Taiwanese golfer Tseng Yani tops the world rankings in women’s golf
  • Feb 22
    Earthquake in Christchurch NZ kills 181
  • Mar 09
    Space shuttle Discovery completes its 39th and final mission
  • Mar 11
    Earthquake off Japan and resulting tsunami kills over 15,000 people
  • Apr 14
    China hosts the third BRICS Summit, in Hainan
  • Apr 29
    Prince William and Catherine Middleton marry at Westminster Abbey
  • May 01
    Minimum wage in Hong Kong rises to $28/hour
  • May 01
    Same-sex marriage legalised in Brazil
  • Jun 04
    Li Na becomes the first Chinese tennis player to win a grand slam
  • Jun 28
    Direct travel for individuals from three Chinese cities to Taiwan commences
  • Jul 09
    South Sudan becomes an independent country
  • Jul 17
    Taiwan defeats Cuba for the gold medal in the under-12 Baseball World Cup
  • Aug 05
    USA launches the first solar-powered spacecraft, Juno, to study Jupiter
  • Aug 23
    Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown
  • Sep 21
    Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge premiers
  • Sep 29
    Launch of China’s Tiangong 1 Space station
  • Oct 16
    Resumption after 33 years of the Hong Kong Cross Harbour Race
  • Nov 18
    The game Minecraft is released by Mojang
  • Nov 26
    Mars rover Curiosity is launched
  • Dec 17
    Death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
  • Dec 18
    America declares the Iraq War over
  • Jan 05
    Photography banned outside Dolce & Gabbana stores in Hong Kong
  • Jan 13
    Costa Concordia cruise ship runs aground off Italy, 32 people died

Earth Rabbit:

16 Feb 1999 – 04 Feb 2000

Hip hop has always been the music of choice for bunnies on the make, and they were able to leveret it this year into making the rabbit run. Over the year, the index gained more than 70%. From the New Year through to early summer, the Hang Seng was a rabbit force-feeding itself and adding half its body weight. The summer and autumn were not bad, but indigestion set in and by the end of October some weight had been lost. From there to the year’s end, the winter fat came on strong.

  • Feb 07
    Crown Prince Abdullah becomes king of Jordan
  • Feb 12
    US President Clinton acquitted in impeachment trial
  • Mar 11
    Jia Jia and An An are the first two pandas to arrive in Hong Kong
  • Mar 12
    Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary join NATO
  • Apr 04
    Alibaba Group founded in Hangzhou
  • Apr 24
    Construction begins on the MTR Tseung Kwan O Line
  • May 03
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time
  • May 17
    Ehud Barak becomes Prime Minister of Israel
  • Jun 01
    The first day of Napster
  • Jun 16
    Thabo Mbeki becomes the second president of South Africa
  • Jul 01
    Scottish parliament officially opened
  • Jul 26
    The National Academy of Civil Service is founded in Taiwan
  • Aug 01
    The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur become the world’s tallest building
  • Aug 30
    East Timor has a vote for independence from Indonesia
  • Sep 01
    Initially private, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel title passes to the Hong Kong government
  • Sep 10
    Treaty signed between Taiwan’s government and its indigenous inhabitants
  • Oct 12
    Bloodless coup in Pakistan brings Pervez Musharraf to power
  • Oct 16
    New recension of the Ocean of Words encyclopaedia is published in Taipei
  • Nov 06
    Australia votes to not become a republic
  • Nov 19
    China launches the Shenzhou 1 spacecraft
  • Dec 19
    China resumes sovereignty over Macau
  • Dec 31
    Happy Valley stages a special race card to welcome in the new millennium
  • Jan 06
    Last Pyrenean ibex is found crushed to death by a tree
  • Jan 08
    Death of Ray Huang, Chinese historian and philosopher

Fire Rabbit:

29 Jan 1987 – 16 Feb 1988

A year to remember, for the good and the bad. Through the summer the Fire Rabbit flew, as if on a hareplane. Then, like Icarus, he was living on burrowed time and suddenly turned into the ether bunny, falling unconscious back to below where he had begun the year. After such a lop-sided decline, the bunny realised there was no such thing as a furry lunch and did what he could to recover some ground. Despite the fall, the index put on 25% but finished the year lower than the beginning.

  • Feb 07
    Protests break out in Korea and hundreds are arrested
  • Feb 11
    New constitution of the Philippines comes into effect
  • Mar 30
    Vincent van Gogh’s painting Sunflowers sells for nearly US$40m
  • Mar 26
    Joint Declaration on Macau signed by Portugal and China
  • Apr 09
    David Wilson becomes the Governor of Hong Kong
  • Apr 21
    Bomb at a bus station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, kills over 100 people
  • May 06
    The Black Dragon fire breaks out in China, destroying 18m acres of forest
  • May 28
    Mattias Rust from West Germany illegally lands a plane in Red Square, Moscow
  • Jun 08
    New Zealand becomes the first and only nation to legislate against nuclear power
  • Jun 28
    Iraq uses chemical weapons in the war against Iran
  • Jul 07
    Bomb explodes at the Queensway Government Offices
  • Jul 15
    President Chiang Ching-kuo ends Martial Law in Taiwan
  • Aug 01
    Mike Tyson becomes the first heavyweight boxer to hold all three world titles
  • Aug 22
    Environmental Protection Agency is set up in Taiwan
  • Sep 02
    Donald Trump takes out a full-page New York Times ad attacking Japan
  • Sep 15
    Huawei founded in Shenzhen by Ren Zhengfei
  • Oct 16
    A new record of over 338 million shares traded on the NYSE
  • Oct 20
    Following Wall Street, a market rout sees the Hang Seng closed for four days
  • Nov 07
    MRT service begins passenger operations in Singapore
  • Nov 23
    During typhoon Nina, nine children are taken by a freak wave in Taiwan
  • Dec 04
    Censorship known as the Comic Code in Taiwan is lifted
  • Dec 08
    Gunman in Melbourne kills eight people in the Queen Street massacre
  • Jan 02
    Li Fook-shiu, chairman of the Stock Exchange of HKG, arrested by the ICAC
  • Jan 13
    Lee Teng-hui becomes President of Taiwan

Wood Rabbit:

11 Feb 1975 – 30 Jan 1976

If you had a hutch that it was going to be a good year, the initial spring jump may have had you hare-ing along. Yet from there to the beginning of winter, it was as if a ferret had caught the rabbit’s foot. Free of the trap and coming into winter proper, it was as if the Wood Rabbit was off on his bunnymoon. By the end of the year, our Rabbit had turned into a million-hare and lived hoppily ever after with the index having risen nearly 80% for the year.

  • Feb 08
    1,800 Unification Church couples wed in South Korea
  • Feb 26
    First televised kidney transplant shown in the USA
  • Mar 10
    Japan’s bullet train, the shinkansen, reaches Kyushu (the first place outside the main island of Honshu)
  • Mar 25
    King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is shot and killed by a nephew
  • Apr 05
    Death of Chiang Kai-shek
  • Apr 17
    Khmer Rouge captures Phnom Penh and begins to rule Cambodia
  • May 04
    First visit of an English monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, to Hong Kong
  • May 16
    Tabei Junko is the first woman to climb Mount Everest
  • Jun 02
    First recorded snowfall in London in June
  • Jun 25
    Mozambique gains independence from Portugal
  • Jul 17
    US and Soviet spacecraft dock to each other in orbit for two days
  • Jul 22
    US House of Representatives restores citizenship to General Robert E. Lee
  • Aug 05
    Hang Seng Bank armoured vehicle is robbed of about HK$7m
  • Aug 06
    Beginning of the failure of dams in Henan, China, that would kill over 100,000
  • Sep 07
    First broadcast of CTV, Hong Kong’s third free-to-air broadcaster
  • Sep 16
    Soong Mei-ling leaves Taiwan for America
  • Oct 14
    Typhoon Elsie becomes the latest ever signal 10 in a season to hit Hong Kong
  • Oct 16
    Five Australian journalists killed by Indonesia in East Timor
  • Nov 11
    Australian Governor-General Kerr dismisses the elected Whitlam Government
  • Nov 20
    Designed to house 46,000 people, the public Oi Man Estate is formally opened
  • Dec 02
    Pathet Lao force out the king and take control of Laos
  • Dec 14
    Coldest December temperature in Hong Kong since records began in 1883: 4.3° C
  • Jan 21
    First commercial flight on the Concorde
  • Jan 22
    Bank robbery in Lebanon nets between US$20-50m, a record