Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Thursday, Feb. 13:
Nan Fung pays 12-year-low unit price for home site
Nan Fung Group has proved the winning bidder for a residential site in Tuen Mun, securing the plot for HK$455 million (US$58.66 million), or HK$2,129 per square foot, the lowest unit price since 2002. The total cost was 19 percent below the lowest market estimate. Meanwhile, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (00016.HK) a smaller residential land parcel in the same district for HK$430 million, or HK$2,558 per square foot. Analysts said the results will not have much impact on the secondary market but may add pressure to future tenders in the New Territories.
Chinese migrants look for place in Caribbean sun
Caribbean nations have become the top destinations of mainland Chinese planning to migrate through immigrant investment schemes, industry veterans said. The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is one of the top picks, with Chinese immigration at least tripling over the past two years. They said Chinese entrepreneurs wanting to circumvent residency restrictions on merging and listing domestically registered corporations overseas are attracted to favorable policies in the region.
Arbitrage, seasonal factors twist trade figures
China’s buoyant external trade figures in January were affected by arbitrage and seasonal factors during the Lunar New Year, analysts said. The country’s exports grew 10.6 percent and imports 10 percent during the month, way above market estimates of 2 to 3 percent growth. The upbeat figures, which largely diverge from weaker purchasing managers’ index readings, have again raised questions about their authenticity and accuracy.
Concern over radio host’s abrupt sacking
A group of pan-democratic Hong Kong lawmakers and members of the public staged a candlelight protest outside the office of Commercial Radio Hong Kong last night after the management sacked phone-in program host Lee Wai-ling, a vocal critic of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Commercial Radio gave no reason for the sudden marching orders. Lee said she would continue to monitor public affairs, and give a fuller response later. Commerce minister Greg So, whose portfolio includes broadcasting, said he did not comment on decisions by commercial broadcasters.
Survey shows support for civil nomination in 2017 poll
About half of the respondents to a survey commissioned by the Alliance for True Democracy support the idea of civil nomination for the 2017 chief executive election. Support for the two other nomination methods proposed by the alliance was lower, with political party nominations attracting 37 percent and a nominating committee approach 27 percent. The survey also found 38 percent support for “screening” out unpatriotic chief executive hopefuls by the nominating committee.
Yellen toes US Fed’s dovish interest rate line
Newly appointed US Federal Reserve chairwoman Jane Yellen made it clear in a Congress committee hearing that the central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates. Her appearance showed she is not just sticking religiously to the Fed’s dovish line but prefers a relaxed monetary policy to improve unemployment and spur demand to strengthen the foundations for an economic recovery. Amid the fears about controlling liquidity after curbs are relaxed, Yellen is clearly inclined to keep super-low interest rates for a long time.
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