Christmas is just around the corner, and it is usually the time to reflect on the year past and ponder on the year to come. But I've never felt entirely comfortable writing year-end reviews. This year, though, I decided to do something I've never done before: write a letter to Santa, just like my three children used to do at this time of year when they were little. They used to talk about how good they've been during the year, and ask Santa for gifts. I think it's a great idea, so here is my humble first try.
What a year it has been, eh? It has been so busy in our home at HKEx, I forgot to send you my Christmas wish list! Now that things have begun to quieten down, I have a few moments to tell you what good boys and girls we have all been this year and what we are hoping to receive under the tree on Christmas Day.
First off, I'm really pleased to say that I have shed some weight this year! I am down almost 2 full pounds, mainly thanks to playing soccer. That might not seem like a lot, but you know those noodles and fried rice dishes are just too hard for me to resist, Santa. Did you know we played the Shenzhen Stock Exchange earlier this month, and held them to a 1-1 draw? I played the entire second half, but hardly touched the ball. Maybe you could put a few goals under the tree for me this year.
In fact, Santa, everyone at our HKEx home deserves a great Christmas. The whole team has been working like diligent elves to make our house bigger and more beautiful, and improve the neighbourhood.
Our IT elves, for instance, have kept us safe from any electrical outages and ensured there were no leaks in our roof. I'm really proud of them. And don't worry Santa, the chimney has been cleaned and is ready for your arrival! Next year, we'll start making our home even stronger and more resilient through upgrades like a closing auction and Volatility Control Mechanism.
Santa, the two new commodities wings of our home are also coming along quite nicely. We worked hard this year to continue renovating and improving the new LME restaurant we bought two years ago, which is now connected to West Wing of the home. We announced we would raise the food prices a bit from the start of next year, but we're confident people will still fill the seats because our food quality is getting even better. The increase in revenues will also help us introduce delicious new items to the menu. Aside from that, we installed a whole new plumbing system which we named LMEClear. It has already become the envy of the neighborhood, so we're really proud of it.
The new East Wing to our commodity restaurant has also come a long way from last year. It's a big job building an entirely new wing from scratch, but we made some good progress in 2014. After you have the milk and cookies we're putting out for you, please do take a look. You'll notice the three new mini contracts we installed just this month. It will take some time, but I know it will soon grow into a beautiful new addition to the home.
The biggest new development in the neighbourhood this year, Santa, was a sparkling new bridge we built to connect us with the big market on the other side of the river. It took more than a year to build, and nearly everyone in the house pulled together to get it done. If that's not teamwork, Santa, then I don't know what is! We thought there might be a few more cars making use of the bridge, but we'll keep working on it next year, I promise. We want to install more and better road signs to the bridge, and show people the benefits and convenience of using it. I have no doubt traffic will increase.
But Santa, I'm afraid not everything was perfect this year. A special guest was planning to come to stay with us, but he decided to have a party at someone else's house instead. He was asking for some pretty major renovations to make room for his arrival, and we just couldn't change our house that fundamentally without consulting everyone in the neighbourhood. The good news is the community is having a good discussion about whether or not we should make those renovations in the future. In the meantime, our home is still beautiful and very attractive to other visitors — including you, I'm sure, Santa!
Before you visit, though, I hope your sleigh stops by the house of our friendly neighbourhood regulator. The SFC has done a fantastic job this year of keeping the neighbourhood secure, and will work even more closely in the years to come with its equally friendly regulator, the CSRC, across the river. They deserve excellent Christmas gifts under the tree and we are going to build more bridges and roads for them to police!
Also, please treat our HKEx family well. Without each and every person working together in our home, we wouldn't have had such a breakthrough year. They have all been good boys and girls, and deserve a wonderful holiday season. Please bring them whatever they are asking for (within reason, Santa, as I'm sure not even you have an unlimited budget). Maybe bring a little something extra for the 21 couples who got married this year, and the 28 babies born to HKEx staff who will be celebrating their first Christmas.
Finally Santa, I'd be most grateful if you could bring each and every one of us health, prosperity, and happiness in the year ahead. I can't think of a better present than that.