PRESS DIGEST - Hong Kong - Oct 15

Reuters

HONG KONG, Oct 15 (Reuters) - These are some of the leadingstories in Hong Kong newspapers on Tuesday. Reuters has notverified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- Measures to cool the housing market could result in aserious deficit for the government in the next financial year byslashing one of its main income sources - stamp duty on propertysales - a university economist says. Ho Lok-sang said there hasbeen a dramatic drop in transactions since the introduction of aspecial stamp duty and a 15 per cent duty on overseas andcorporate buyers on top of the stamp duty. ()

-- Hong Kong watchdogs would be able to cope with "very bad"scenarios involving a sudden shock to the city's economy if thedebt-ceiling crisis in the United States is not resolved, theterritory's financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said. ()

-- Rental growth of Swire Properties' mainlandportfolio will remain strong on the back of consumer appetitedespite a slowing economy, said its mainland chief executive GuyBradley, noting that the Hong Kong-based commercial landlord isseeking to add more new projects. ()

THE STANDARD

-- Hong Kong food prices are expected to soar sharply asprices in the mainland surged 6.1 percent last month, drivingoverall inflation to a seven-month high. The price rises weremainly due to seasonal demand ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival,according to the mainland's statistics bureau. ()

-- Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman ChanTak-lam said there is neither the need nor the intention tochange the current peg system as it is the most appropriatecurrency regime for the territory. ()

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

-- Chinese mobile handset maker ZTE will focus on developing its market in the United States in thefuture and sees sales contribution from the country to surpassChina in 2015, according to a senior executive. ZTE's handsetshipment volume was 10.1 million units for the second quarter of2013, accounting for 4.2 percent of the world's total and wasranked the fifth largest.

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- A Shanghai-based online platform jointly established byAlibaba, Ping An Insurance andTencent Holdings, for selling insurance products hasreceived regulatory approval to commence business, according toa mainland media report.

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