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PRESS DIGEST -Hong Kong - Oct 18

HONG KONG, Oct 18 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


-- The People's Bank of China is likely to scrap the 20,000 yuan ($3,300) a day limit on currency conversion for Hong Kong people, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam says. The daily remittance limit of 80,000 yuan - which affects money transferred through banks across the border - would not change. ()

-- The Poly Culture Group, the culture and auction business unit of the powerful state-owned Poly Group, plans to raise about $100 million through an initial share sale in Hong Kong, sources familiar with the situation say. ()

-- China Xintiandi, the mainland commercial property arm of Shui On Land, will speed up the sale of non-core properties and enhance assets to bolster its income in preparation for a planned spin-off once market sentiment improves. With a portfolio of office, retail and hotel properties worth 28 billion yuan ($4.59 billion), Xintiandi's chief executive Philip Wong conceded that annual rental income of 1 billion yuan was low. ()


-- Hydoo International Holding, involved in developing and operating large-scale trading centers in third- and fourth-tier cities in China, opens its retail book on Friday for a HK$1.88 billion ($242.45 million) initial public offering. ()

-- Securities and Futures Commission chairman Carlson Tong Ka-shing says it is up to Alibaba to decide where to list. As a regulator, SFC is more concerned about public interest, he noted. It was earlier reported that the SFC was strongly opposed to the IPO as Alibaba wanted to list as a partnership scheme, allowing its founders to retain control without holding a majority of the shares. ()


-- New World Development, Wheelock Properties and MTR Corp kicked off sales at the Austin, a joint luxury residential development, with asking prices about 10 per cent below the secondary market price in the same district. Including a stamp duty subsidy to attract buyers, the developers are offering buyers discounts of up to about 20 percent.


-- Prince Frog International is preparing a clarification statement and is considering buying back its shares and increasing the dividend payout ratio after a report by short seller Glaucus Research Group questioned its sales figures, according to a company spokesman.


-- Far East Consortium International Ltd has beat four other bidders including Sino Land and Wang On Group and won a tender for a piece of land in a restricted border area in Sha Tau Kok for HK$143 million ($18.44 million) or HK$1,104 per square feet.

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