Thursday 23rd January 2014

Dear Reader,

HK's hotel subsidy in SimCity
Since 2008, HK has been underpricing land for hotels by selling "hotels only" land leases, failing to optimise development value and incentivising mass-market budget tourism. We urge the Financial Secretary to let the market optimise land use with unrestricted leases, and to reform the land lease system with higher ground rents and lower premiums. (23-Jan-2014)

Glorious update
A response from HKSCC indicates that Glorious Property (0845) has some explaining to do: the Grand Court did indeed want to see the CCASS Participant figures. We also show that the 61 registered holders who voted against could not have held more than 0.89% of the shares which voted, and HKSCCN held at least 99.11%. The Grand Court should decide whether the scheme proceeds. (22-Jan-2014)

Solving the MPF-LSP offset problem
We explain the historical context of the Long Service Payment and the offset arrangement against employer's Mandatory Provident Fund contributions, which is now an impediment to full portability, efficiency and lower costs in the MPF system. We provide a solution to this problem which, while not cost-free to employers, is better than the political alternatives, so they had better support it. (21-Jan-2014)

Glorious failure in the Cayman Islands
We look at the curious circumstances behind the failed privatisation of Glorious Property (0845) and call on the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, where 75% of HK-listed companies are incorporated, to follow HK in abolishing the headcount test. (19-Jan-2014)

Webb on "Backchat" re tax & budget
RTHK, 23-Jan-2014

China activist lawyer Xu Zhiyong on trial
BBC, 22-Jan-2014
With video of China's plain-clothes heavies moving the reporter away.

China cracks down on CNN crew (video)
CNN, 22-Jan-2014

And much more besides...
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