Hong Kong

Hong Kong's retail sales climbed for the seventh straight month in August, helped by a stabilising COVID-19 situation, an improved labour market and economic recovery and thanks to a boost from a consumption voucher scheme (CVS), Reuters reported. Retail sales in August rose 11.9% from a year earlier to HK$28.6 billion ($3.67 billion), government data showed on Thursday. August's increase compared with a revised 2.8% growth in July.
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Not many would have given Luckin Coffee a chance to survive its accounting fraud, yet since falling into provisional liquidation in July 2020, the firm has opened more stores, is getting a capital injection to repay creditors and is looking to exit chapter 15 bankruptcy protection, the South China Morning Post reported. On Tuesday, the Chinese Starbucks wannabe set another milestone by inking restructuring terms that could make bondholders almost whole and settle U.S. class-action lawsuits.

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Hong Kong media group Next Digital Ltd has said that it aims to go into liquidation and its board of directors has resigned to facilitate the process, Aljazeera.com reported. Next Digital is owned by jailed tycoon Jimmy Lai and was the publisher of Apple Daily, a popular pro-democracy newspaper that closed in June after its newsroom was raided by police officers investigating whether some articles breached a national security law introduced in Hong Kong by Beijing last year.
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The Hong Kong government will investigate the publisher of the now defunct Apple Daily for fraud, in the latest setback for the company after being forced to shut down the pro-democracy local newspaper last month, Nikkei Asia reported. The territory's financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po told a hastily called new conference on Wednesday evening he had appointed a special inspector to investigate Hong Kong-listed Next Digital. Apple Daily published its final issue on June 24, after its assets were frozen by the government.
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The Biden administration’s business advisory on Hong Kong has generated more heat and light than appears justified by its contents, according to a Bloomberg Opinion. The fireworks may be a sign that the U.S. and China are content to let hostilities play out as diplomatic theater, and are reluctant to raise confrontation to a level that would meaningfully challenge the functioning of a key global financial center.

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Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance is close to an agreement to settle a dispute with a Hong Kong-based asset manager regarding unpaid debts, Bloomberg News reported. GFG is close to a settlement with TransAsia Private Capital, which was pressing to take control of a block of shares in Simec Atlantis Energy Ltd., a tidal-power developer owned by GFG, the person said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. A GFG unit owns 43% of U.K.-listed Simec.
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Hong Kong sold a rare land parcel in the Causeway Bay area for a higher-than-expected price, a sign of recovery for the city’s commercial real estate market, Bloomberg News reported. The government sold the site to Hysan Development Co. and Chinachem Group for HK$19.8 billion ($2.5 billion) in a public tender, according to a statement. That exceeds a previous valuation of about HK$15 billion by Midland IC&I Ltd., reflecting optimism from developers that Hong Kong’s office and retail markets will rebound.
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World shares advanced Thursday ahead of the release of U.S. economic growth data and following a speech by President Joe Biden outlining ambitious plans for beefing up early education and other family oriented policies, the Associated Press reported. London’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.7% to 7,013.40. In Paris, the CAC40 climbed 0.6% to 6,344.17. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2% to 15,262.39 as a report showed weakening consumer confidence. The future for the Dow industrials rose 0.4% and that for the S&P 500 surged 0.6%. U.S.

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Shares of around 50 Hong Kong-listed companies were suspended from trading on Thursday, according to stock exchange filings, with many firms citing delays in publishing their annual results as the reason for the move, Reuters reported. Most of the companies involved are small-cap names, however, they also included some larger firms including embattled bad debt manager China Huarong Asset Management and solar energy firm GCL-Poly Energy.
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As Hong Kong residents move overseas to escape China's political crackdown, real estate companies see new opportunities in areas such as assisting with visa applications and brokering property transactions, Nikkei Asia reported. Interest in leaving Hong Kong is the highest since the lead-up to the former British colony's 1997 return to China, said Andrew Lo, a local emigration consultant who has worked in the industry for over three decades. "This is the biggest emigration boom in Hong Kong's history," he said.
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