Over 800,000 One-way Permit holders come to HK since 1997







HONG KONG  |  2015-01-15 23:59:21


Over 800,000 One-way Permit holders

come to HK since 1997


By Huang Xin


Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam said on Thursday of January 15 that more than 800,000 One- way Permit (OWP) holders have come from the mainland to Hong Kong since Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997.

Lam said over the past years or so, the increase in population as a result of OWP holders is actually the major source of population growth in Hong Kong, and 98 percent of the holders are coming to join their parents, or they are actually the spouse of Hong Kong residents.

“They will be a major factor of population growth and also will contribute to Hong Kong’s labor force,” she said.

She said the government has the duty to provide the needed services and education to enable them to integrate and adapt more readily into Hong Kong society.

“I believe that Hong Kong people are sensible and rational, and they will realize that they need this source of population growth while at the same time they will also appreciate that this is really what we always advocate as human rights for family reunion purposes,” she said.

Lam said given the prevalence of cross-boundary marriages, there is a continued need for the OWP Scheme to enable eligible Mainland residents to come to Hong Kong in an orderly manner for family reunion.

The government released Thursday a report on “Population Policy – Strategies and Initiatives.” The report was compiled following a public engagement exercise and research carried out in 2013 and 2014 by the Steering Committee on Population Policy (SCPP) chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration.

The report includes some 50 initiatives covering the main areas of promoting sustainable growth, unleashing the potential of the local labor force, enhancing the quality of home-grown talent, attracting talent from outside, importation of labor, fostering a supportive environment for forming and raising families, and embracing opportunities in an aging society.

Key measures were announced by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his 2015 Policy Address on Wednesday.

Releasing the report, Lam said that with little natural resources Hong Kong relied on adequate and quality manpower to provide the major impetus for continued social and economic development.






HONG KONG  |  2015-01-15 16:59:40

 Housing supply in HK to increase: chief executive

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong’s property prices depend on a number of factors including the external economic situation and supply level, which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is seeking to increase, the city’ s chief executive CY Leung said here on Thursday of January 15.

Leung told a radio phone-in program this morning that his policy address contained different measures to address the city’s housing problems, which include providing more subsidized flats to meet the needs of different income groups.

He said there will also be a record high supply of 74,000 private residential units in the coming three to four years.

As to why the HKSAR government is still allowing 150 mainlanders per day to come and live in Hong Kong when there is a housing shortage, Leung said many of these people are children or spouses of Hong Kong residents and barring them from coming here would create not only family problems, but also legal issues.

On the subject of recruiting talents and professionals from outside Hong Kong, Leung said that a scheme proposed in his policy address targets not only mainlanders but also the second generation of Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated overseas.






HONG KONG  |  2015-01-15 15:04:36

 Hong Kong tops Asia in construction costs

By Jiang Tingting

Hong Kong topped Asia in terms of construction costs in 2014, according to a report published on Thursday of January 15.

The annual International Construction Costs Report, released by the Dutch design and engineering consulting firm ARCADIS, said that price inflation continued to affect the Hong Kong market in 2014, resulting in its elevated position in the rankings.

The city ranked third worldwide in construction costs, just behind Switzerland and Denmark.

Elsewhere in Asia, construction markets had another strong year in 2014, particularly in Japan where the stimulus associated with one of the three “arrows” of Abenomics has had a significant impact, the report said.

Singapore also saw strong growth throughout 2014, driven by a combination of robust housing markets and high levels of infrastructure spending.

The report also showed that India was the cheapest country in the world for construction.

The report forecast construction costs in Hong Kong would rise 6-8 percent in 2015, slower than the 7-10 percent growth seen last year.

However, the report said, in Chinese mainland, the gradual shift to a consumption-based economy means that the huge growth in construction that has been witnessed over the last 10 years is unlikely to continue in the long term.

Looking ahead, despite the changing nature of the economy, construction investment in China is likely to continue to diversify across both project types and geography, which will sustain relatively strong growth during 2015, according to the report.






HONG KONG  |  2015-01-15 17:27:43

 Hong Kong’s house prices expected to be flat in 2015: Fitch

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong’s house prices are expected to be flat in 2015 as compared to the 10 percent growth in 2014, Fitch Ratings said in a report released here on Thursday of January 15.

The macro-prudential measures will lead to a marked slowdown in price growth in Hong Kong this year, and the home prices are forecast to be flat versus an average gain of 15 percent over the previous decade, Fitch said.

The government’s cooling measures should stabilize affordability at current levels, though home prices already are highly stretched relative to incomes, according to the report.

Fitch maintains that Hong Kong does risk a downturn, considering the combination of the stretched affordability, rising rates and the large involvement of speculative investments in the sector.

Moreover, the house prices are expected to moderate across the Asia-Pacific region this year, driven by government regulatory pressures, tightened affordability and gradual interest-rate rises, the report said.

A gradual increase in mortgage rates is expected in 2015 and 2016 in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, while governments and regulatory authorities are targeting soft landings for the housing market in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, Fitch said.

Fitch’s “Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook” includes forecasts and comparative analysis of house prices, arrears and mortgage lending volumes for 22 countries and regions around the world including Australia, Japan, South Korea, and for the first time, China’s Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.






HONG KONG  |   2015-01-15 16:47:29

 HK stocks close 0.99 pct higher

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong stocks ended up 0.99 percent on Thursday of January 15, with the benchmark Hang Seng index rising 238. 31 points to end at 24,350.91 points, after trading between 23,070. 39 and 24,369.00. Turnover totaled 93.11 billion HK dollars (about 11.99 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 182.15 points, or 1. 52 percent, to close at 12,190.52.

Four sub-indices all gained ground, with the Finance sub-index rising the most by 1.14 percent, followed by the Utility 1.11 percent, the Properties 0.87 percent and the Commerce and Industry 0.82 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed down 0.4 percent to 70.60 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank rose 0.7 percent to 130.80 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX increased 0.2 percent at 178. 20 HK dollars.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties lost 0.2 percent to 21.20 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, climbed 1.4 percent to 54.05 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka- shing, added 0.1 percent to 142.60 HK dollars.

As for mainland-based financial stocks, China Construction Bank, the country’s second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, rose 0.9 percent to 6.45 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, went up 1.1 percent to 5.74 HK dollars. Bank of China went up 1.4 percent to 4.47 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was up 1.5 percent to 8.86 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)






HONG KONG  |  2015-01-15 17:24:03

 Gold price closes higher in Hong Kong

By Tai Beiping

The gold price in Hong Kong closed lower at 11,360 HK dollars per tael on Thursday of January 15, up 12 HK dollars per tael from the previous trading day, according to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society.

The price is equivalent to 1,230.42 U.S. dollars a troy ounce, up 1.29 U.S. dollars at the latest exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar against 7.75 HK dollars.









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