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Chinese surveillance camera supplier Hikvision posts slowest profit growth in a decade

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, a key camera supplier for China’s surveillance system, reported the slowest annual pace of profit growth in more than a decade amid growing headwinds in overseas markets. Net income in 2018 rose 20.5 per cent to 11.3 billion yuan (US$1.76 billion), the Hangzhou-based company said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Thursday. Revenue climbed 23 per cent to 51.2 billion yuan. The company said it maintained a high level of investment into research development while continuing to develop domestic and overseas markets. Its…

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China’s Lunar New Year spending growth slows to decade low despite record US$148.96 billion sales

Sales growth in China during the seven-day Lunar New Year Holiday slowed to the lowest rate in a decade this month, questioning if the government can unleash the country’s domestic growth potential to counter the slowdown in the economy. National retail and catering revenue rose 8.5 per cent during the holiday to 1.005 trillion yuan (US$148.96 billion), the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday. But even though the overall sales figure reached a record high, the growth rate fell from the 10.2 per cent witnessed last year to the lowest…

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How the US took more than a decade to build its case against Huawei

The United States has been investigating Huawei Technologies for possible violations of trade sanctions since at least 2007, when FBI agents questioned its founder in New York about the Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturer’s business activities in Iran. The founder, whose name was redacted in the indictment filed on Monday in the US, was identified in the documents as “Individual-1”. He said at the time that Huawei was compliant with US export laws and did not deal directly with any Iranian company, according to the 13-count indictment unsealed in federal court…

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CK Asset plans to convert New Territories hotel into Hong Kong’s biggest housing estate of the last decade

A hotel in the New Territories will be converted into what may be the biggest private housing estate to be built in Hong Kong in the last decade, under plans submitted by CK Asset Holdings, the flagship company of retired tycoon Li Ka-shing. The conglomerate has submitted an application to redevelop its 1,100-room Harbour Plaza Resort City hotel in Tin Shui Wai into a dense housing estate comprising 5,000 flats, according to a document filed with the town planning board. It is just too exaggerated. Unfortunately, our developers only look…

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Debt-ridden music retail giant HMV likely to hold Hong Kong’s biggest liquidation sale in a decade

Debt-ridden music giant HMV is likely to opt for the biggest liquidation sale in a decade in Hong Kong when it meets with creditors on Thursday, according to experts. “For a big retail music chain like HMV which has a big stock of CDs, DVDs, audio equipment and lifestyle products, the most likely option is to have a big liquidation sale day to sell the outstanding stock at a heavily discounted price,” said Mat Ng, managing director of JLA-Asia, a veteran liquidation expert. HMV Digital China Group, owner of the…

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Wall Street staggers into 2019 with modest gains, on the final day of its worst month in a decade

The US stock market concluded its worst year since the global financial crisis on Monday following a late-season collapse that also raised doubts about the prospects for 2019. Major indices notched modest gains in the year’s final session, but it barely made a dent compared with the rest of December, the market’s worst month in nearly a decade. Ending in the red for 2018 did not appear in the cards in the first weeks of the year, when Wall Street repeatedly shot to new records on the heels of a…

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Government agrees to pay HK$300 million for Hong Kong’s biggest audit reform in a decade

The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay HK$300 million (US$38 million) towards the biggest overhaul of accountancy regulation in a decade. The money will enable the watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, to triple its headcount to inspect, investigate and discipline auditors in more than 2,000 listed companies, according to newly appointed chairman Kelvin Wong Tin-yau. Wong said he expected lawmakers to vote in March for reforms that would see the toothless Financial Reporting Council transformed into a fully empowered independent regulator of auditors in the second half of 2019.…

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Hong Kong’s investor confidence plummets to lowest level in almost a decade as trade war flares

Investor confidence in Hong Kong has plummeted to its lowest level in nearly 10 years over the US-China trade war and increased market volatility, according to JPMorgan Asset Management. JP Morgan’s Hong Kong Investment Confidence Index fell below the neutral level of 100 into negative territory for the first time since 2009, the year following the global financial crisis. It dropped from 106 points in April to 88 points in November, according to the annual survey by the investment bank’s asset management arm. The index is based on interviews with…

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Sydney property slowdown bites as auction clearance rates tumble to the lowest in a decade

Sydney’s housing market is facing the toughest conditions since the global financial crisis after auction rates slumped again at the weekend, with analysts predicting that the slowdown could get much worse in the months ahead. Australia’s biggest city saw only 44 per cent of 567 listed properties sold at the weekend, according to Domain, the lowest preliminary clearance rate for a decade. The figure is likely to be revised down below 40 per cent, a level of downturn not seen for a decade. The last time rates were in the…

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China economic tsar steps in to steady ship after slowest quarter in decade, says stocks have ‘high investment value’

Liu He, China’s financial tsar, led a coordinated effort with the country’s central bank and financial regulators on Friday to stem its worst stock market rout in three years, and extended a lifeline to businesses battered by a liquidity squeeze. Chinese regulators have already sought measures to defuse risks related to shares used as collateral for loans, while the recent declines in the country’s stock market have created a good buying opportunity, the vice-premier said in an interview to the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, People’s Daily. “In terms of global asset…

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