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Vacancy tax is a short-term solution to Hong Kong’s long-term housing shortage crisis

The Hong Kong government plans to introduce a vacancy tax on empty new flats to pry open supply bottlenecks by imposing fines on developers for hoarding new homes. Under the proposed legislation, a tax equivalent to twice the estimated annual rental value will be levied on flats that remain unsold after 12 months of receiving an occupation permit. According to the Rating and Valuation Department, the preliminary findings in the Hong Kong Property Review 2019 indicate that the vacancy rate of… Source link

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The next financial crisis will be worse than the 2008 crash. Here’s how the world can prepare for it

Still psychologically scarred, few were keen last month to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Dow’s rock bottom close in March 2009.  Even so, all month long, calls to heed lessons from the last great recession echoed across the media as ominous signs pointing to another pending financial crisis loom. Last week, the US Department of Commerce revised growth forecasts downward. Growth across major European economies is either slowing or negative. And the Chinese economy, a critical global… Source link

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Property 

Hong Kong’s housing crisis can’t wait for long-term solutions

The government’s recent unveiling of the costs for its Lantau Tomorrow Vision proposal has divided the city: one half is concerned at allegedly exorbitant costs, although some estimates say the project will most likely turn in an eventual surplus; the other half seems to see it as a panacea to systemic housing issues. The official pitch is that the project is a long-term solution, designed to deal with Hong Kong’s expanding population and to relieve the city of its land shortages. All’s fair… Source link

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Global 

Central banks must turn to global financial crisis tool box to tackle the next recession, says Fed’s Rosengren

The United States’ central bank may have to dust off some of the tools that helped steer the economy through the global financial crisis a decade ago should another recession hit, Boston Federal Reserve Bank president Eric Rosengren said on Tuesday.With interest rates already low leaving limited room for cuts, the US Federal Reserve would likely have to turn to quantitative easing and other balance sheet tools to stimulate its economy, in the case of a downturn.“I dare say it is important for… Source link

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Hong Kong can ease its housing crisis by giving more families a chance to buy public housing flats

Under Hong Kong’s Tenants Purchase Scheme, introduced in 1998, 140,298 public rental housing units have been sold to existing tenants. Initially, about 57 per cent of the units available for sale found buyers and, in the past decade, this has increased to 72 per cent. By promoting home ownership, the scheme has increased the labour force participation rate and decreased unemployment among families that have bought these units.But there have been two other important effects. The scheme has also… Source link

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China’s hog crisis adds up to rising global pork prices, and hedge funds are along for the ride

There are finally enough signs of an emerging pork catastrophe in China to propel prices and get funds to turn bullish again.African swine fever, which is highly lethal and difficult to contain, was first reported in China last August. It’s taken time for the disaster to play out, but it’s arrived. Pork prices in the Asian nation have shot up, and the Chinese government said its sow breeding herd was down about 15 per cent. That decline is bigger than the entire herd of North America.Earlier… Source link

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China 

US-China trade war and fears of debt crisis see art sales in China drop

There was less art sold in China last year than in Brexit-embroiled Britain as Chinese collectors stayed on the sidelines during Beijing’s drawn-out negotiations with the US to avoid a full-scale trade war, an annual art market survey finds.Art sales in China fell three per cent to US$12.9 billion, with demand also hurt by fears of a debt crisis and there being fewer high-quality pieces coming to the market, according to the 2019 Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.China briefly became… Source link

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Nutella crisis averted as world’s largest factory reopens after five-day shutdown over hazelnut ‘quality defect’

The world’s largest Nutella factory restarted production on Monday after it stopped work for five days as a precautionary measure over a “quality defect”, owner Ferrero’s French branch said.The factory in Normandy, France stopped making the chocolate-and-hazelnut spread due to a “suspected quality defect strictly limited to the production stage,” Ferrero France said.It added that the problem was “very early in the process, at the stage of grinding and roasting hazelnuts.”“The factory started up… Source link

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Singapore 

Affordability crisis? How expensive has Singapore truly become?, Singapore News

Singapore is widely recognised as an expensive place to live. In this study, we’ve examined the cost of living in Singapore across several key categories in order to understand how the city has changed in terms of affordability. Even in Singapore and other countries with strong economies, affordability of goods and services is often a major concern. In some instances, the cost of living can become unbearable in booming cities. On the surface, the cost of living has not increased dramatically in Singapore. In fact, the core inflation rate in…

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