19 March 2019

HKEJ Today: Highlights

Following is a summary of major news and comments in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, the parent publication of EJ Insight, on Wednesday, April 9:


Developers may follow SHKP to cut new home prices

The low-pricing strategy adopted in a new residential project developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (00016.HK) in Hong Kong’s Fanling district is likely to set a trend in the market, observers said. The developer has priced new home units of the project at least 10 percent lower than the market levels, or close to the secondary market. Such a pricing strategy may prompt peers to follow suit, sending property prices of new homes in the mass market down by 5 to 10 percent and those in the luxury market by 10 to 20 percent, market veterans said.

HKEx hires NYSE executive to head China derivatives business

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) has hired Cecilia Zhong from NYSE Euronext Inc. to head China derivatives business development, a new position in the Hong Kong bourse. Zhong took up the role on Monday, reporting to head of Asia commodities Rebecca Brosnan. The bourse is likely to hunt for more talent from global rivals as it steps up efforts to expand the Asia commodities team, sources said. It is due to release a business development plan for the launch of commodities futures.

Pacific Century Premium Developments to sell Beijing complex for US$928 mln

Pacific Century Premium Developments Ltd. (00432.HK, PCPD) is planning to sell its entire stake in Pacific Century Place in Beijing to Vinter Star Ltd., a unit of property private equity firm GAW Capital Partners, for US$928 million, the developer said in a joint regulatory filing with PCCW Ltd. (00008.HK). PCPD expects the deal to yield about HK$2.65 billion (US$341.75 million) in consolidated profit before taxation. Proceeds will be used for repaying debts and for business development in Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. The concerned property was valued at HK$6.66 billion as of the end of last year.


Taiwan protests prompt Hong Kong legislature to map out contingency plan

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco) may be closed to the public and suspend public tours under special circumstances, President Tsang Yok-sing said yesterday. He made the comment after a Legco committee met to discuss what should be done if their building was occupied by protestors as happened in Taiwan. Tsang said it would be difficult to specify what the special circumstances are, adding common sense should prevail. He said the Legco’s Secretariat has also inspected the security facilities and arrangements and was satisfied that they were adequate.

Hong Kong adviser to Beijing calls for resumption of Article 23 legislative work

A Hong Kong adviser to the Chinese government has urged the city’s government to restart legislative process for an anti-subversion law to pacify Beijing’s impatience with a delay of the legislation. Alan Hoo, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, claimed that Beijing would certainly find the indefinite delay of an enactment of Article 23 in the Basic Law unacceptable. He said the government should at least do something such as setting up a working group to study the legislative work. Doing so, he said, could help convince Beijing that the city has the intention of enacting the law.


Universal suffrage doomed if extreme views dominate

Calls by a mainland Basic Law Committee member to implement an anti-subversion provision in the Basic Law through national law reflect hardball tactic by Beijing towards Hong Kong. It contrasts sharply with their plan to talk to pan-democrats later in Shanghai. The introduction of universal suffrage will be doomed if the extremists in the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps control the situation. It will only succeed if those in the middle of the political spectrum assert their influence and if the central government has more trust in Hong Kong people.

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