The Covid death toll in Hong Kong has risen to 164, after an 80-year-old woman fell fatal. According to a spokesman of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, the chronically ill elderly woman was admitted to the hospital due to fever and cough on November 29, she was later diagnosed with the coronavirus. Her condition continued to deteriorate and eventually died at 9.10pm yesterday.
January 19, 2021 06:32 UTC
More than three-quarters of Hong Kong workers reported that their happiness largely depends on how secure they feel financially, the highest among six markets, a survey of 17,000, including 2,300 working households in Hong Kong, showed. Fidelity International surveyed six markets in 2020 - the UK, Germany, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. It showed that 77 percent say they depend financial security to feel happy and 21 percent are very or extremely stressed about their financial situation. Meanwhile, 64 percent do not feel on track to meet their financial goals while 67 percent are not on course to reach their retirement goals.
January 19, 2021 06:00 UTC
The Lunar New Year fairs at 15 locations in Hong Kong may be reopened amid public outcry, according to reports. The fairs were said to have gone back on track and will have to be closed before 9pm each day. Authorities have previously announced the cancellation of the Lunar New Year fairs and the Che Kung Festival Fair in Sha Tin in the territory due to the city’s epidemic. The decision has sparked backlash after florists were told to move the flower-selling venues to lower profile sites such as public estates, which people may gather at those venues, posing a health risk. Meanwhile, there were also concerns that members of the public will flock to the flower market in Mong Kok during the Lunar New Year after the cancellation of the fairs.
January 19, 2021 04:30 UTC
January 19, 2021 03:45 UTC
Stocks are rallying in Hong Kong today. The benchmark Hang Seng Index is at is 29,582.28, risng by 719.51 points, or 2.49 percent. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388) has risen by 6.64 percent at HK$514.00. Smartphone maker, Xiaomi (1801) added 7.53 percent at HK$32.15. The Hang Seng Tech Index is at 9,411.12, climbing by 294.88 points.
January 19, 2021 03:00 UTC
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is looking east for deals in an effort to diversify an investment portfolio heavily weighted toward North America and Europe. Asia “has been very much on our radar screen,” Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Sheikh Mohammed is also chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, which manages about US$300 billion of assets and ranks as the world’s 11th-largest wealth fund, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. “Asia didn’t take the fair portion of the investments,” although North American deals will remain a priority. The wealth fund holds stakes in some of the world’s top companies including London Stock Exchange Group Plc, Volkswagen AG and Glencore Plc.
January 19, 2021 02:58 UTC
U.S. stock futures moved higher on Monday evening as Wall Street looked to bounce back from a rough week ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, CNBC reports. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by 125 points, or 0.4 percent. Those for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 added 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 lost 1.5 percent, while the Dow was off by 0.9 percent, respectively. It was the worst week for the three major indexes since October.
January 19, 2021 01:18 UTC
January 19, 2021 00:57 UTC
Janet Yellen says over the next few months, 'we are going to need more aid to distribute the vaccine, to reopen schools, to help states keep firefighters and teachers on the job.' Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen is calling on Congress to do more to fight a deep pandemic-induced recession, saying the threats of a longer and even worse downturn are too great to cut back on support now. “Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now — and long-term scarring of the economy later,” Yellen said in testimony prepared for her confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee. The damage has been sweeping and as the president-elect said last Thursday, our response must be too,” Yellen said. “Over the next few months, we are going to need more aid to distribute the vaccine, to reopen schools, to help states keep firefighters and teachers on the job,” Yellen said.
January 18, 2021 23:37 UTC
Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, delayed declaring the deadly new coronavirus a global health emergency.. An independent panel said on Monday that Chinese officials could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January to curb the initial coronavirus outbreak, and criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for not declaring an international emergency until January 30. Specifically, it questioned why the WHO’s Emergency Committee did not meet until the third week of January and did not declare an international emergency until its second meeting on January 30. “Although the term pandemic is neither used nor defined in the International Health Regulations (2005), its use does serve to focus attention on the gravity of a health event. “The global pandemic alert system is not fit for purpose”, it said.
January 18, 2021 19:30 UTC
HSBC (0005) hopes to resume dividend payments as soon as possible, chairman Mark Tucker said at the Asian Financial Forum yesterday. This came after Bank of England allowed British banks to resume paying dividends in December as the financial stability impact of coronavirus had become clearer. For 2021 dividends the PRA is content for appropriately prudent dividends to be accrued but not paid out and aims to provide a further update ahead of the 2021 half-year results of large UK banks, the BoE said. As for Standard Chartered, the dividend yields are expected to be 2.68 percent in 2020 and 3.33 percent in 2021. The BoE told Britain's seven biggest lenders in March to suspend dividends and share buy-backs until the end of 2020, and to cancel payments of any outstanding 2019 dividends.
Mainland developer China Evergrande Group (3333) announced yesterday it would use HK$16.55 billion of internal funds to redeem HK$16.1 billion convertible bonds due in 2023 and pay related accrued interest in advance on February 10. This came after the debt-ridden developer reported a balance of interest-bearing indebtedness of 716.5 billion yuan (HK$855.51 billion) as of end-December 2020. The company had previously issued HK$18 billion 4.25 percent convertible bonds in 2018, due in 2023 and had used HK$1.807 billion to buy back part of these bonds and pay the interest in December 2020. All the redeemed convertible bonds will be canceled. The announcement also pointed out that "the company is confident that it will accomplish its goal of reducing interest-bearing indebtedness by 150 yuan billion in 2021."
The January effect has been made possible by constant inflows of capital from the north. Some bullish market analysts were quick - or perhaps slow - to add that the HSI may hit 30,000 this year. Beijing was spending big money to make sure that 2021 opened well for Hong Kong. The fact that Hong Kong stocks had been falling behind its peers - not only on Wall Street but also in Asia, particularly Taiwan - for most of 2020 has turned the local stocks into bargains. For quite awhile, Hong Kong stocks had come under pressure due to trade conflicts between the US and China during the second half of Donald Trump's presidency.
China's economy grew 2.3 percent in 2020 and exceeded 100 trillion yuan (HK119.45 trillion) for the first time ever, official data showed. Highlighting the weakness in consumption, retail sales fell 3.9 percent last year, marking the first contraction since 1968, records from NBS showed. Growth in retail sales in December missed analyst forecasts and eased to 4.6 percent from November's 5.0 percent, as sales of garments, cosmetics, telecoms, and autos slowed. Meanwhile, economists said China's economic growth in the second half this year may be slower due to a stronger base in 2020. In other news, China's 2020 pork output fell 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 41.13 million tonnes after plunging 21 percent in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Armed protesters in Oregon as pro-Trump demonstrations get off to a quiet start. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city could present a threat to the incoming president. Pro-Trump protests planned at state capitols nationwide got off to a quiet start, with only small groups of armed demonstrators gathering in states including Ohio, Texas, Oregon and Michigan. A White House source said so far Trump is not planning to issue preemptive pardons for members of his family. Trump, who has issued two waves of pardons in the last month, has a new list of more than 100 pardons and commutations, the source said.