Previous Years

Metal Tiger:

14 Feb 2010 – 02 Feb 2011

The metal tiger had been a contender, but slipped at the start and spent the first two months scrambling to get back on an even keel. Paws wheeling in the wind by May, he then fell further back from where he began. Famished and out-of-pocket investors watched as the hungry feline gradually ate through all the competition in the jungle between June and November, rising about 30% over that period. Pleased at his own success, he promptly fell from the heights and performed a creditable dead cat bounce before handing the reins over to the presiding rabbit.

  • Feb 21
    Hong Kong film Echoes of the Rainbow won an award at the Berlin Film Festival
  • Feb 27
    An 8.8 earthquake strikes Chile, killing 500 people
  • Feb 26
    Wang Meng wins three gold medals for China at the Winter Olympics
  • Mar 04
    The Kaohsiung area in Taiwan records a 6.4 earthquake and 96 people are injured
  • Mar 22
    A sandstorm from the north hits and Hong Kong air pollution goes off the charts
  • Apr 10
    Polish President, Lech Kaczyński, dies in a plane crash
  • Apr 14
    The 6.9 Yushu Earthquake in China kills thousands of people
  • May 01
    Expo 2010 held in Shanghai opens
  • May 15
    Jessica Wilson, 16, is the youngest person to sail unassisted, solo around the world
  • Jun 04
    Naoto Kan becomes the Prime Minister of Japan
  • Jun 13
    Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa returns to earth with particles from an asteroid
  • Jul 01
    306 Hong Kong figures are honoured, with 7 awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal
  • Jul 25
    A protest in Guangzhou against raising the amount of Mandarin programmes on TV
  • Aug 14
    A Hong Kong player is shot at the Women's Baseball World Cup in Venezuela
  • Aug 23
    Philippine ex-police officer takes hostage a bus of Chinese tourists
  • Sep 04
    A 7.1 earthquake hits Christchurch in New Zealand, the first of a series
  • Sep 19
    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in finally sealed
  • Oct 13
    All 33 miners rescued from a collapse in Chile after 69 days underground
  • Oct 28
    China's Tianhe-1 supercomputer becomes the world’s fastest
  • Nov 06
    The Taipei International Flora Exposition opens
  • Nov 14
    Hong Kong beats China for the gold medal in women's snooker at the Asian Games
  • Dec 07
    The Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki reaches Venus
  • Dec 17
    The Arab Spring begins with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia
  • Jan 01
    Estonia joins the Eurozone
  • Jan 09
    The New People's Party is established in Hong Kong

Earth Tiger:

28 Jan 1998 – 15 Feb 1999

The Fire Ox of the previous year was still smouldering when the Earth Tiger came to stalk his prey. There were a few good takings early on as the scorched earth opened up previously unexpected morsels for the market, but by early summer the landscape was as barren as could be. The Earth Tiger could do little for our Earth Rooster. Fortunes changed with the autumn crops and, with the Tiger as the apex predator, he was fully sated by January. He had dropped a little over the year but was still in the hunt.

  • Feb 07
    The 18th Winter Olympics open in Nagano, Japan
  • Feb 12
    The first graphics chip from Intel is released
  • Mar 01
    Titanic becomes the first film to gross US$1 billion
  • Mar 13
    First publication announcing the universe is expanding at an increasing rate
  • Apr 10
    Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland signed by the UK and Ireland
  • Apr 28
    My Fair Princess airs for the first time in Taiwan
  • May 13
    Anti-Chinese race riots erupt in Indonesia
  • May 24
    The first post-handover elections are held in Hong Kong for the Legislative Council
  • Jun 22
    The Tung Chung MTR line begins operations
  • Jun 25
    Microsoft releases the Windows 98 operating system
  • Jul 02
    US President Clinton is the first sitting president to visit Hong Kong
  • Jul 05
    Japan launches a Mars probe
  • Aug 07
    Two US embassies in Africa bombed by Osama bin Laden
  • Aug 26
    Wen Jiabao issues a report on the devastating summer floods that swept across China
  • Aug 31
    The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur become the tallest building in the world
  • Sep 02
    The UN finds a Rwandan official guilty of genocide, the first such ruling
  • Sep 04
    Founding of Google
  • Oct 08
    Impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton over his affair with an intern begins
  • Oct 10
    Arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet under international law
  • Nov 11
    Founding of Chinese tech giant Tencent
  • Nov 20
    A Russian rocket lifts the first part of the international space station into orbit
  • Dec 05
    The KMT under Lee Teng-hui wins the Legislative election in Taiwan
  • Dec 29
    The Khmer Rouge apologises for the Cambodian genocide
  • Jan 01
    Formation of the Euro as a currency
  • Jan 10
    The Sopranos goes on the air in the USA

Fire Tiger:

09 Feb 1986 – 28 Jan 1987

The movement of the Fire Tiger was that of a cat on a hot tin roof; he spent the year ocelotting all over the place. Happily for those early investors, his jumping mostly pushed the Hang Seng higher. In the summer months, they hunt tigers in the hills and this one went to ground - he wasn't going to be kitten around. Come August and the tabbies he’d been keeping on all the companies about to make fat cats all came up and from there to the end of the year, he added 50%.

  • Feb 25
    Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos toppled from power
  • Feb 28
    Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme assassinated while walking home
  • Mar 14
    Microsoft initial public offering
  • Mar 29
    First test-tube quintuplets born, in London
  • Apr 14
    Death of Simone de Beauvoir, early feminist
  • Apr 26
    Chernobyl nuclear accident in the USSR
  • May 17
    Students confront police during anti-government protests in Seoul
  • May 23
    Sheung Wan MTR station opens
  • Jun 22
    Diego Maradona scores the 'hand of God' goal for Argentina
  • Jun 24
    The environment movement in Taiwan takes off with protest against DuPont
  • Jul 07
    Two French agents sentenced to 10 years in jail for New Zealand bombing
  • Jul 12
    New Zealand decriminalises homosexual relations
  • Aug 14
    Riots break out in Pakistan and opposition figure Benazir Bhutto is arrested
  • Aug 26
    Gas from a volcanic lake kills 1,500 in Cameroon
  • Sep 07
    Desmond Tutu becomes the first black Archbishop of Cape Town
  • Sep 26
    Che Kuk-hung wins a gold medal for Hong Kong at the Asian Games in Seoul
  • Oct 02
    Failed assassination attempt of Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi
  • Oct 21
    Second visit of Elizabeth II to Hong Kong
  • Nov 03
    Lebanese newspaper breaks news of US arms sales to Iran for hostage release
  • Nov 22
    Mike Tyson becomes youngest heavyweight boxing world champion
  • Dec 10
    Australian government's plan for a national ID card voted out
  • Dec 23
    Rutan Voyager is the first aircraft to circle the globe without refuelling or stopping
  • Jan 14
    The UK and mainland governments agree to demolish the Kowloon Walled City
  • Jan 29
    Anti-government rebellion in Philippines is defeated

Wood Tiger:

23 Jan 1974 – 10 Feb 1975

Come the New Year we awoke to the Ox of ‘73 leaping off a cliff - he caught the Wood Tiger and took him down. By July, he had panthered back up to where he fell from, only to lion down and sink even further. Come the depths of winter and all the lynx to get back up had fallen to pieces. No-one could cheetah the truth and fully two-thirds of the value had been wiped off by the turn of the year. Fortunes lost! Then fortunes gained as the Hang Seng rose nearly 70% as the rabbit knocked at the door.

  • Feb 04
    Patty Hearst kidnapped
  • Feb 15
    Establishment of the Hong Kong ICAC
  • Mar 02
    Grand jury finds President Nixon to be involved in the Watergate cover-up
  • Mar 29
    Discovery of the Terracotta Army, buried east of Xian
  • Apr 02
    Establishment of the Hong Kong Consumer Council
  • Apr 02
    Death of Georges Pompidou, then serving as French President
  • May 17
    Shostakovich finishes his final and haunting 15th String Quartet
  • May 18
    Successful first explosion of a nuclear bomb by India (Operation Smiling Buddha)
  • Jun 03
    Yitzhak Rabin becomes Israel's fifth Prime Minister
  • Jun 29
    Nixon arrives in Moscow to meet Brezhnev
  • Jul 01
    Death of Juan Peron, President of Argentina
  • Jul 20
    T.K.K. Fried Chicken opens its first store in Taipei
  • Aug 15
    In South Korea, the wife of President Park Chung-hee is shot by an assassin
  • Aug 30
    Left-wing terrorist bombing of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries headquarters in Tokyo
  • Sep 01
    Asian Games opens in Tehran
  • Sep 16
    President Ford pardons Richard Nixon, who resigned a month earlier
  • Oct 01
    Opening of the first McDonald's in the UK
  • Oct 30
    Rumble in the Jungle boxing bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman
  • Nov 11
    Final performance of Maria Callas in Sapporo, Japan
  • Nov 29
    Death of Peng Dehuai, renowned and honest Chinese general
  • Dec 08
    Referendum in Greece formally abolishes the monarchy
  • Dec 25
    Cyclone Tracy devastates Darwin with more than half the city left homeless
  • Jan 04
    Khmer Rouge begins its siege of Phnom Penh
  • Jan 30
    Erno Rubik files for a patent for his magic cube