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Hong Kong’s securities watchdog freezes brokerage accounts for suspected involvement in misleading data

Hong Kong’s securities watchdog has frozen an unknown number of client accounts managed by three brokerages which were related to the suspected disclosure of false or misleading financial information by a listed company. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued restriction notices that prohibit Changjiang Securities Brokerage, Haitong International Securities Company and Kingston Securities from dealing with assets held in those accounts, it said in a statement on Friday. The brokerages are not the focus of the SFC’s investigation, the SFC said. Their operations and other clients will not…

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Hong Kong’s glut of unsold flats could put more pressure on prices

Hong Kong home builders could face greater pressure to slash ­prices as the number of completed but unsold new flats they held increased at the end of last year. Analysts said some home builders would offload stock by cutting prices by 5 per cent to 10 per cent from the current levels on completed unsold units, stepping up efforts to lower inventory as the government’s proposed vacancy tax looms. The city’s developers held 3,295 unsold homes which were completed in 2017 and 2018 as of December, about 10 per cent…

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Hong Kong’s accountancy firms raise their headcounts as IPO bonanza, fintech boom boost business

Hong Kong’s accountancy firms plan to hire more people this year, despite the economic slowdown, amid increased demand for consultancy services and a rise in IPOs which require auditing, according to industry experts. The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), the industry body for the 43,000 accountants in the city, said about 1,300 candidates had enrolled for its training programme in the past five years, with the number growing between 3 and 4 per cent each year. “This year is likely to be a year of expansion for…

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Foreign funds zero in on Hong Kong’s neighbourhood malls as next big investment opportunity

Foreign funds are increasingly considering smaller malls and shopping centres in Hong Kong’s more residential neighbourhoods for investment purposes, with the idea of repackaging undervalued properties and capitalising on a rebound in the city’s commercial rental market. Maggie Hu, an assistant professor of real estate and finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said these funds found good deals in such malls. “First, these funds are betting that these malls are undervalued with current maintenance and management. And with professional management and strategic upgrading, they can improve the exterior…

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Is Hong Kong’s housing market recovering? Plot of land in Tai Po attracts more bids than expected

A parcel of residential land for sale in Tai Po fetched more bids than anticipated in a possible sign that Hong Kong’s developers are becoming more optimistic about the flagging market. The plot at Pak Shek Kok had received 10 bids when the tender closed at noon on Friday, beating Knight Frank’s estimate of five to eight bids. The builders that submitted bids included Sun Hung Kai Properties, CK Asset Holdings, Henderson Land Development, Wheelock Properties, K Wah International, K&K Property, Far East Consortium, KWG Property and a joint venture…

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What to do with a lai see windfall? How about a whirl on Hong Kong’s new micro gold trading platform GoldZip

Hong Kong’s local gold exchange will introduce in March a new trading platform called GoldZip which will allow investors to trade in units as small as a single gram for HK$300 (US$38), in an effort to raise the appeal of the yellow metal among younger retail investors. Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society president Haywood Cheung Tak-hay told the Post that GoldZip will adopt blockchain technology to enable trading in amounts smaller than 1 tael, the current minimum trade on the exchange. The platform will accept Hong Kong dollars, US…

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Hong Kong’s reinsurance industry boosted by favourable mainland Chinese regulation

Hong Kong’s reinsurance industry expanded quickly last year thanks to a new rule introduced by the Chinese insurance watchdog which helped local firms gain an edge over their international rivals, according to experts. The total gross premium of all reinsurance companies in Hong Kong rose 9.1 per cent to HK$10 billion (US$1.27 billion) in the first nine months of the year, according to data from the Insurance Authority. Peak Reinsurance, a Hong Kong based company which does business worldwide, saw its China related business rise by almost a third in…

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Hong Kong’s compulsory provident scheme makes positive start to year with 3.95 per cent return in January

Hong Kong’s compulsory pension scheme turned its best performance in a year on the back of a strong stock market rally in the US and Hong Kong, generating an average return of 3.95 per cent in January, according to data from Lipper Refinitiv. The Mandatory Provident Fund lost 8.21 per cent in 2018 – its worst year since 2011 after starting the previous January with gains of 4.4 per cent. The MPF, which covers 2.8 million people in Hong Kong, had its best year in 2017 with gains of 20.9…

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Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund reports 94.5pc decline in returns amid massive stock market losses

A global stock market slump shrank the city’s war chest for defending the local currency, causing it to lose HK$59 billion (US$7.5 billion) in equity investments last year and driving its 2018 rate of returns to its third lowest on record. The Exchange Fund’s overall returns last year fell 94.5 per cent to HK$13.9 billion on the back of a HK$20.7 billion loss alone in Hong Kong stock market investments. Returns from fixed income and other overseas properties and other longer term investment, offset the equities loss. The Exchange Fund…

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Tencent works with Hong Kong’s science park to spur local fintech development

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings will share its technologies with start-ups in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) as part of efforts to promote the growth of financial technology in the city. Tencent will apply its technological capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data security, payment and cloud computing, to help tenants in HKSTP with their development and application of fintech. It will also boost innovations in AI, robotics, health tech and smart city, the two parties said as they signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday. “HKSTP…

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