Asia

Hong Kong finance chief quits, leadership bid expected

  • FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2016 file photo, Financial Secretary John Tsang speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s financial chief resigned Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city’s top job.  Tsang tendered his resignation, the government said, in a move that came after the city’s deeply unpopular current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2016 file photo, Financial Secretary John Tsang speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s financial chief resigned Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city’s top job. Tsang tendered his resignation, the government said, in a move that came after the city’s deeply unpopular current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang speaks during a press conference at government headquarters in Hong Kong, Monday, Dec.12, 2016. Tsang resigned on Monday, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city's top job. Tsang said he submitted his resignation to the current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang speaks during a press conference at government headquarters in Hong Kong, Monday, Dec.12, 2016. Tsang resigned on Monday, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city's top job. Tsang said he submitted his resignation to the current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang waves to reporters as he leaves his office in Hong Kong, Monday, Dec.12, 2016. Tsang resigned on Monday, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city's top job. Tsang said he submitted his resignation to the current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang waves to reporters as he leaves his office in Hong Kong, Monday, Dec.12, 2016. Tsang resigned on Monday, in what is widely seen as a prelude to a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city's top job. Tsang said he submitted his resignation to the current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who announced unexpectedly on Friday that he would not seek a second term in office. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong's financial chief has resigned amid mounting speculation that he will make a bid for the southern Chinese city's top job.

The government said Monday that Financial Secretary John Tsang tendered his resignation.

The news comes after the city's deeply unpopular current leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said Friday he would not seek a second term in office.

Rumors and speculation have been swirling for months that Tsang was a contender to replace Leung when his five-year term ends in June.

Tsang has been dubbed "Mr. Pringles" because his moustache reminds many Hong Kongers of the potato chip's mascot. Educated in the U.S., Tsang has been the city's finance chief since 2007.

Hong Kong leaders are chosen by a 1,200-member panel of mostly pro-Beijing tycoons and elites.