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Should it be just the world’s central bankers who are doing all the heavy lifting to stave off the supposedly impending global recession?In Asia, economic observers say this is a question monetary policy tsars should consider thoroughly as a number of regional central banks get ready for a fresh round of interest rate cuts on the back of the US Federal Reserve’s latest slashing of its benchmark rate – the second such cut in less than three months.While ultra-low interest rates have hoards of...
Worry all you like about Hong Kong’s little local difficulties, or Brexit, the United States’ trade war with China or the looming danger of a global recession – there is that other worry that puts all others in the shade. That is climate change, as thousands will doubtless be telling us as they gather this weekend in New York for the UN Climate Action Summit. Against a backdrop of the Amazon jungle ablaze, Hurricane Dorian wreaking havoc across the Bahamas, and innumerable other climate…
Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s biggest developer, has raised the price of flats at its Victoria Harbour project by up to HK$1.5 million (US$191,000), even as Beijing singled out the city’s unaffordable housing as a "root cause" behind the anti-government protests.On Friday, SHKP put six units at the luxury development in the city’s North Point district on the market, raising the price by up to 7 per cent from the originally announced price.
China’s US$940 billion sovereign wealth fund posted a loss last year, with officials pointing to the escalation of trade war with the United States, frequent geopolitical disputes and the slowdown of major economies as the culprits for the weak performance.Rapid changes in financial markets and the regulatory environment last year tested big institutional investors, including the China Investment Corporation (CIC), with the 2.35 per cent negative return on its overseas investment portfolio in...
Hong Kong stocks ended the week as the world’s worst-performing major equity market after concerns heightened that the political unrest has already taken a heavy toll on the city’s economy.The Hang Seng Index dropped 3.4 per cent for the week, delivering the steepest decline among the world’s major benchmarks.
A commercial site on the runway of Hong Kong’s former airport that was abandoned because of "social contradiction and economic instability" on June 11, following a successful record bid of HK$11.1 billion (US$1.4 billion), is back on the market – but may be worth 40 per cent less.The Lands Department said on Friday that five bids had been received for the plot, Area 4C Site 4, on the Kai Tak runway.
Shanghai is offering cash subsidies of up to US$8.46 million to financial institutions that set up branches in the new part of its expanded free-trade zone, as the city strives to create a buzzing free-market hub to rival Hong Kong.The municipality announced on Friday that banks, insurers, brokerages, fund managers, trust firms and financial leasing companies would receive up to 60 million yuan (US$8.46 million) worth of subsidies to buy office properties in Lingang.Financial firms renting...
China trimmed its market reference rate for new short-term bank loans on Friday, taking another step towards helping companies hit hardest by the trade war with the United States and the overall domestic economic slowdown.The September loan prime rate, the average taken from 18 selected commercial banks, was set at 4.20 per cent for one-year maturities, down from the 4.25 per cent set in August, according to the National Interbank Funding Centre, a unit of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).The...
A former US Air Force pilot has been released on bail in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after "an item was found in his luggage before a commercial flight", confirmed current employer FedEx in the latest incident involving the American courier service.According to The Wall Street Journal, former US Air Force colonel Todd Hohn was detained a week ago at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, a FedEx regional hub, citing a lawyer for the pilot’s family.The report added that Hohn was...
Shenzhen jumped higher in the latest ranking of the world’s financial centres, while Hong Kong moved closer to overtaking London as number two globally, according to a semi-annual survey by the China Development Institute and the London think tank Z/Yen Partners.New York retained the top spot in this year’s Global Financial Centres Index, extending its lead over London by 17 points.
Shanghai has stepped up the process to launch IPOs of 14 government-owned companies after the city reported lacklustre economic growth in the first half.Bai Tinghui, head of Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said on Thursday that a drastic reform to modify the share structure and management style of these companies was under way as the city embarks on an ambitious plan to building a word-class free-trade port at Lingang."
The former government official behind the nation’s stock market crisis in 2015, one of China’s most hated men, has offered a harsh lesson on the dangers of government intervention that have created many of the country’s boom-to-bust equity cycles.Xiao Gang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference – China’s top political advisory body – and former chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), oversaw the mainland’s trillion...
A Hong Kong multimillionaire has bought a penthouse at the Corinthia Hotel London for £10.75 million (US$13.4 million) in a deal that was sealed in 72 hours, property agents Aston Chase on Thursday.The identity of the buyer remains unknown. Aston Chase said in a press release that the buyer and his wife were regular visitors to London and the Corinthia Hotel London was their favourite hotel in the British capital.The purchase was the biggest deal in Whitehall, where the hotel is located, in the…
Huawei Technologies will delay sales of its newly launched Mate 30 smartphone series in Europe, the company’s biggest market outside China, because the handsets have no access to Google apps and services under a US trade ban.The new flagship line – comprising 4G and 5G versions of the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro – will start pre-orders in mainland China next week and will be available in Southeast Asia sometime next month, according to a Huawei spokesman late on Thursday after the product’s...
Another week, another indication of the pervasive influence of geopolitics on financial markets. Last weekend’s devastating attack on two major Saudi Arabian oil facilities – which knocked out half of the country’s output capacity, removing about 5 per cent of global supply – caused the sharpest daily increase in the price of Brent crude, the international oil marker, in a decade.Not only was the sudden loss in output the single biggest disruption on record, exceeding both the loss of Kuwaiti…
Homebuyers took advantage of steep discounts and snapped up more than 90 per cent of the 352 flats Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s biggest developer, had on sale at its The Cullinan West III project on Thursday. Developers have been rushing to offload flats before the introduction of a vacancy tax, now expected as soon as January.The developer priced the latest batch of flats at the project at an average of HK$23,172 per square foot, up to 25 per cent below the prevailing market rate in…
Real estate professionals expect home prices, sales and rents will fall in Hong Kong over the next 12 months as protests continue with no end in sight, accordingly to a newly released survey.That is quite a change from the survey in June, the month peaceful protests kicked off in a colourful stream of umbrellas.
China should not be alarmed by a much slower economic growth rate in the coming years, perhaps as low as 5 or even 4 per cent, with the economy now large enough to still create sufficient jobs at these growth rates, according to three prominent Chinese economists who advise the government.The headline gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate slowed to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter this year, the lowest figure since quarterly records began in March 1992, due to the headwinds created by the...
Hong Kong stocks fell for a fourth straight day, their longest losing streak in six weeks, on concerns there will be more protests ahead of China’s National Day.The Hang Seng Index dropped 1.1 per cent to 26,468.95 at the close on Thursday. The four-day decline was the longest since a stretch of five days that ended on August 6. Cosmetics retailer Sa Sa International Holdings said the civil unrest in the city was hurting its sales.Concerns were running high that more demonstrations will be…

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