In today’s roundup of regional news headlines, one of Hong Kong’s biggest cinema chains springs a surprise ending on the city, fashion retailer Gap mulls the potential sale of its China business, and property tax legislation is missing once again in the National People’s Congress agenda.
UA Cinemas, one of Hong Kong’s biggest movie-theatre chains, has abruptly shut down operations in the city, citing the pressure that the pandemic had on its business.
It will cease operations in Hong Kong with immediate effect on 8 March. Court proceedings to wind up the business have begun, the company said on its website Monday. Read more>>
Apparel retailer Gap is weighing options including a potential sale of its China business, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The report said the Old Navy parent was working with an adviser to explore its options and has contacted prospective suitors. It said there was a possibility that Gap could also keep the business. Read more>>
China omitted mention of a property tax in its 2021 legislative plan on Monday for a second consecutive year as the government focuses on boosting consumption to cement an economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic amid lingering uncertainty.
The topic was also omitted from the government’s work reports in 2020 and 2021 by Premier Li Keqiang at the annual meeting of parliament, which set out the full-year agenda, though property tax legislation is still planned for the future. Read more>>
A lot of ESG work is left to be done. Look no further than Chinese homebuilder Seazen, where the billionaire founder was convicted of child molestation. Nine months after his imprisonment, big investors leading the global charge on environmental, social and governance matters still own the company’s bonds, undercutting the broader message they’re trying to send.
Formerly known as Future Land Development, Seazen was the country’s eighth-largest property developer by sales when Wang Zhenhua was detained in 2019 for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl. Read more>>
European castle estates are proving to be popular trophy assets among wealthy investors, including those from mainland China, according to agents.
While they have been made popular by films such as Disney pictures, the coronavirus pandemic has amplified the need for privacy and extra space. Read more>>
The land auction and property development system in China is a direct descendant of Hong Kong’s. The system, in which the government sells land to developers so they can build homes, has supported rapid urbanisation and improved the living conditions for hundreds of millions of urban Chinese.
But Beijing is also rapidly realising the social costs of the system, including its chronic damage to entrepreneurship, a yawning wealth gap that depresses the ambitions of younger generations, and the formation of a rent-seeking landlord social class whose interests are too often at odds with the broader community — the same problems perceived by Beijing as the basis for the social divisions and tensions in Hong Kong. Read more>>
Henderson Sunlight Asset Management and Dah Sing Bank announced that Sunlight Tower, situated at 248 Queen’s Road East in Hong Kong, has been officially renamed Dah Sing Financial Centre. The name change marks the transformation of the property into a financial-service-driven hub in the Wan Chai vicinity, the companies said.
As the anchor tenant of Dah Sing Financial Centre, Dah Sing Bank has leased over 89,000 square feet (8,268 square metres) of office and retail spaces. Used as the bank’s new corporate headquarters, the office portion features modern digital technology to promote workplace collaboration. Read more>>