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Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Friday said the government’s Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands project will be pushed back by two or three years, but officials are still “determined” to push ahead with the plan. Speaking on a phone-in programme on RTHK’s Radio 3, Chan said feasibility studies for the ambitious reclamation project must be completed fi…
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At least 43 people were killed and dozens injured after a fire blazed through a seven-storey building in an upscale neighbourhood in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka late on Thursday, health authorities said. "So far 43 people have died from the fire," Bangladesh's health minister Samanta Lal Sen said after visiting the Dhaka Medical College Hospit…
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Seven people were injured, six of them seriously, in a fire that broke out in a Mong Kok residential building early on Friday morning. Firefighters said one man was unconscious when they found him in a smoke-filled corridor on the 10th floor of Cheung Fai Mansion on Tong Mi Road. He was described as being in a critical condition. The man and six ot…
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The Bar Association said on Thursday that the government should consider narrowing the definition of "acts with seditious intent". This recommendation came as part of the Bar's submission to the administration on Basic Law Article 23 national security legislation. It said officials should consider adding the requirement of "an intention to incite v…
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Another cold spell is set to descend on Hong Kong from Thursday night, the observatory has warned. The mercury was topping 20 degrees Celsius in some areas of the city during the day, but was set to fall overnight to as low as 15 degrees in urban areas – and even lower than that in parts of the New Territories. By Saturday morning, built-up areas c…
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Monthly pyrotechnic displays along the harbourfront could make it easier for people to plan trips to Hong Kong and entice tourists to stay in the city for another night, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Thursday. A caller to a phone-in programme on Chan's latest budget said the plan to use fireworks and drone displays to regularly create "ench…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan says the government does not rule out re-introducing property market cooling measures if necessary. Various extra stamp duties, introduced more than a decade ago to curb speculation, were lifted in Chan's latest budget on Wednesday. "Nowadays, there is almost no speculative activity. On the other hand, the supply [of h…
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A signalling problem caused disruption to MTR services on three lines during Thursday morning's rush hour, according to the railway company. The MTR Corporation announced shortly after 8.30am that the signalling system for the Island, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong lines "wasn't operating smoothly" and that passengers were forced to wait longer than usual…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday that the government will postpone a major reclamation project off Lantau after considering its financial implications, but insisted it would not be scrapped. Authorities are currently conducting a feasibility study for the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands project and had previously said reclamation woul…
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Beijing's top official on Hong Kong affairs has stressed the central government's continuous support for the city while promising more "preferential policies" to come, Chief Executive John Lee said on Wednesday. The director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, wrapped up a seven-day inspection trip to the SAR with a visit to Bei…
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The SAR government will issue HK$120 billion worth of bonds in the 2024/25 financial year, Paul Chan announced in his budget speech on Wednesday. The financial secretary said this will include HK$50 billion worth of silver bonds, as well as HK$20 billion in green and infrastructure bonds in order to "achieve financial inclusiveness and enhance a se…
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The government will establish a health tech hub to attract outside research talent and launch a funding scheme to support companies in using advanced technologies, as part of its efforts to build Hong Kong into an international I&T centre. Announcing his annual budget on Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said an "InnoLife Healthtech Hub" wil…
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Hong Kong's tobacco tax rose by almost 32 percent on Wednesday, with the government saying the move is designed to give smokers even more of a reason to quit. In his budget speech, Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced that the duty was rising by HK$0.8 per cigarette, with immediate effect. Last year, he raised the tax by HK$0.6 per cigarette. Th…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday that the current fiscal year's budget deficit would soar above HK$100 billion due to slower-than-expected economic growth in Hong Kong and lower-than-expected revenue from land premium and stamp duty. In his budget speech, Chan forecast a consolidated deficit of HK$101.6 billion for this financial yea…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced on Wednesday that the government will extend tax concessions for electric vehicles for two years, but the amount will be cut by 40 percent. The concessions were first introduced in 2018 and were due to expire at the end of next month. The maximum first registration tax concession for electric private cars wil…
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The government has earmarked around HK$1.1 billion for tourism bodies to attract visitors to Hong Kong, with monthly pyrotechnic and drone displays, along with a redesigned multimedia show to light up the city's harbourfront. Delivering his annual budget speech on Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the administration will make good use o…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Wednesday announced some relief measures to ease the economic burden on the public, although the assistance to taxpayers has been reduced from previous years. About 2.06 million taxpayers will receive a reduction of up to HK$3,000 on their salaries tax or tax under personal assessment for the 2023/24 financial year.…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan has projected GDP growth of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent for Hong Kong this year. The economy grew by 3.2 percent in 2023. Delivering his budget speech, Chan said the external environment remains complicated, with geopolitical tensions continuing to affect international trade and capital flows, but he also cited the pros…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Wednesday announced the scrapping of all property cooling measures, namely the Special Stamp Duty (SSD), Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) and New Residential Stamp Duty (NRSD). The so-called "spicy" measures were first introduced more than a decade ago to combat property speculation, but there have been calls for the govern…
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday that "more strenuous efforts" were needed to stimulate the economy as he delivered the budget speech to the Legislative Council. Chan said a number of factors, including geopolitical uncertainties and high interest rates, changes in consumption patterns and preferences of inbound visitors, and competi…
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