Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Friday, Feb. 14:
SJM raises investment in Cotai project to HK$30 bln
SJM Holdings Ltd. (00880.HK) will increase its investment in its new gaming project in Cotai, Macau by 20 percent to take the total to HK$30 billion (US$3.87 billion). The new complex, covering 70,000 square meters, will comprise three hotels and resorts, including 1,450 rooms for the mass market and 540 rooms for the luxury sector. Analysts expect the project, coupled with renovations of existing premises, will boost SJM’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization in 2014 and 2015 by at least 18 percent.
HKEx chief Li says consultation needed for circuit breaker
The city’s bourse will impose a circuit breaker mechanism only after thorough consultation with market players, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) chief executive Charles Li said in his blog Thursday. Technological innovations in the capital market have exposed listing platforms to higher operational and technical risks that could create turbulence in the event of a malfunction or manual errors, Li added. His comments came as the city’s securities watchdog urged the exchange to set up the mechanism to align with international trends, which major rival Singapore will follow later this month.
China car sales up 7% in January
Sales of cars on the mainland rose 7 percent in January from a year earlier to about 1.85 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. The figures compared with the median estimate of 1.88 million units, and 22 percent growth in December. Analysts said the growth was affected by seasonal factors. The total number of all vehicles sold last month climbed 6 percent to a record 2.16 million units.
Leung pressured Commercial Radio, sacked radio host says
Former Commercial Radio phone-in program host Lee Wai-ling has accused Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying of putting pressure on the broadcaster to give her the boot. Lee made the claim at a press conference yesterday, a day after the company sacked her without giving a reason. She said the broadcaster bowed to government pressure out of fear of not getting its license renewed. Leung rejected the claim, insisting that he has never mentioned any matter about her post and work.
Liaison Office chief warns no deviation from Basic Law
Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, has reaffirmed the central government’s opposition to any political reform proposals that deviate from the Basic Law and resolutions adopted by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. At a Lunar New Year reception hosted by the central government’s Liaison Office, Zhang warned against electoral proposals that disregard the principle of “one country.” For the first time, pan-democratic lawmakers were invited to the event.
Fresh US ‘rebalancing’ drive in Asia puts China ties to test
As United States Secretary of State John Kerry kicked off his visit in South Korea yesterday, the White House announced President Barack Obama’s trip to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in April. Obama’s visit marks a further step of “rebalancing”, including cementing of ties with old allies and getting new partners to counter China’s influence in the region. Kerry is likely to raise Washington’s concern about China’s military plans in the region. In view of Washington’s determination to return to Asia, there will only be substantive progress in China-US strategic relations and stability in the region if both sides are able to reduce mutual strategic distrust.
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