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PRESS DIGEST-Hong Kong - Oct 2

HONG KONG, Oct 2 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


-- Nearly half of urban residents in China own smartphones and 60 percent of them would give up their television sets rather than their phones, says a report. "Our Mobile Planet: China," conducted by Google and research firm IPSOS, said 69 percent of respondents said they accessed the Internet everyday on their smartphones. ()

-- Ctrip.com International, the mainland's largest online travel agency, may be an unintended beneficiary of the proposed US$125 million initial public offering by Qunar.com, the leading Chinese travel search engine controlled by Baidu. A bigger Qunar platform after the stock listing is likely to drive even more business to Shanghai-based Ctrip. ()


-- Hong Kong jewellers are expected to benefit from Beijing's possible easing of limits on gold imports that would allow mainlanders to bring more of the precious metal across the border without paying levy. Only those carrying more than 200 grams of gold each time will be taxed after clearing immigration, according to a People's Bank of China draft rule which is under consultation. The current import limit is 50 grams. ()


-- Electricity supplier Power Assets Holdings Ltd is bidding for a 50 percent stake in Marchwood Power, a joint venture between Scottish and Southern Energy and ESB International, in the United Kingdom as the Hong Kong-listed company further expands its overseas investment, according to sources.

-- Chinese ship builder Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd said it planned to issue 387 million H shares, raising HK$2.82 billion to fund acquisitions and for working capital.


-- New World Development is set to raise US$700-800 million from a spinoff of its hotel business in Hong Kong, with trading in shares expected to begin by end-October, while Kerry Properties Ltd's logistics spinoff is aimed to list before Christmas, according to sources.

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