Hong Kong (CNN) – Forget the red-hot property market of mainland China - a new forecast says investors should be looking south.
Jakarta - Indonesia's burgeoning capital of nearly 10 million people - is predicted to be Asia's top real estate market in 2013, ahead of cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in "Emerging Trends in Real Estate - Asia Pacific 2013," a real estate forecast released this week by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute.
The recommendation to buy into Jakarta-based property may raise eyebrows, but PriceWatershouseCoopers says Indonesia's economic turnaround over the past few years has impressed international investors.
"Interest rates and inflation are under control, and while GDP is growing at around 6.5% annually, foreign direct investment is increasing at a much higher rate—39% in the first half of this year," the survey said. "Driven by increased demand from foreigners and locals alike, office rents shot up 29% year-on-year in the third quarter, according to (property services firm) DTZ."
Hong Kong (CNN) – The glitz and prestige of New York’s 5th Avenue makes it one of the most famous streets on the planet. But a torrent of mainland China visitors and a rental war among global brands will soon push the property prices in Hong Kong’s Central district higher than New York’s most expensive address.
As CNN’s Ramy Inocencio reports, Colliers predicts that by 2014, the average retail space in Hong Kong’s Central district (pictured above, left) will eclipse the $2,600 square foot price of New York’s 5th Avenue (pictured above, right). Presently, the average price is about $1,800 per square foot in Central, but prices have been zooming higher as retail brands jostle for prime real estate in this tightly packed territory.
Hong Kong (CNN) - Dismissed by many Western sceptics, the ancient philosophy of Feng Shui plays a key role in shaping life in Hong Kong.
CNN's Richard Quest reports on the theory's impact on architecture, business and lifestyles in the territory.
Hong Kong (CNN) – A local airline has found itself in hot water with environmentalists over a recent cargo flight of dolphins.
According to the Chinese newspaper China Daily, the airline transported five dolphins from Japan to Vietnam on January 16. An internal memo to the airline staff was leaked boasting of the transaction’s success saying that it earned the company HK$850,000 (US $110,000) in cargo revenue. The memo also included a photograph of the dolphins lying in shallow, narrow containers with their fins protruding, inside the Boeing 733F cargo plane.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – With a Greek debt deal successfully brokered on Tuesday, the world’s economic skies seem a bit less likely to fall. That new $173 billion bailout for Greece on the brink of bankruptcy is now staunching a bit of the hemorrhage of confidence in the continent.
As for the “stuff” that actually flies through those economic skies? The volume of that over our heads, homes and offices is, in fact, falling.
And Hong Kong is one of the best places to take a measure of it all.
This Asian hub of commerce boasts the busiest air cargo airport in the world. And air cargo volumes are an excellent thermometer to gauge the health of global trade.
According to Hong Kong airport data, 3.9 million tons of cargo passed through this Chinese territory in 2011. But for all that volume, the huge number actually revealed a drop of nearly 5% year on year.
Just as Hong Kong is the world’s number one cargo hub, Cathay Pacific Airways is the world’s number one air cargo carrier. In 2011, Hong’s Kong’s flagship airline transported more than 1.6 million tons of cargo around the world. But that represented a drop as well – of nearly 9% year on year.
The reason for this season of slumps is found not in Asia but halfway around the world: in the United States and Europe.
The U.S. is still clawing back from its Great Recession.
Europe, which buys 30% of all of China’s exports, is still focused on its highly-indebted nations. And for the next several months and years, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy– and yes Greece- will still be the word.
It’s a decline in demand from all these places – for cheaper Asian-assembled electronics and your Wal-Mart apparel – that led to a slump in air cargo traffic last year.
And the 2012 skies don’t look much brighter.
The International Air Transport Association, more famously known as IATA, forecasts absolutely no growth for global air cargo traffic this year.
Cathay Pacific’s CEO John Slosar predicts his company’s air cargo business might not take off again until the second half. That’s not great news since the company relies on cargo for 30% of its annual profit.
And some oil analysts foretell of $150 per barrel ifIrantensions boil over into conflict.
All this may be conspiring for a collision course with catastrophe. But reroutes do exist.
To offset losses, airlines have successfully booked more people into their seats. Cathay reported nearly 12% more passengers this past January, year on year.
That’s on top of rising ticket prices as any flier – frequent or not – can attest.
And just this past December, Cathay announced it would delay the purchase of two new Boeing 747-8F freighters until 2013.
The bottom line for the air cargo industry? Despite short-term fixes, its long-term recovery will depend on the pace of improvement in the U.S. and Europe.
Until then, better profits from global air cargo will hang on a wing and a prayer.
Hong Kong (CNN) - The increasing number of visitors from mainland China and overseas means that space is at an absolute premium in Hong Kong.
As Hong Kong continues to grapple with incredible urban density and a real lack of open space, the redevelopment of an iconic landing strip is being watched closely.
As Richard Quest reports, there are plans in the works for even more land reclamation projects from the surrounding seas. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – When Internet giant Yahoo bought a 40% piece of Chinese business-to-business online company Alibaba in 2005, the $1 billion deal was hailed as a unique coup for the U.S. web site – and a quick way to get a stronger toehold among China’s then-100 million online users.
What a difference seven years makes.
In recent months Yahoo has seen its CEO Carol Bartz and founder Jerry Yang shown the door, followed this week of four board members – including the chairman – departing, as shareholders lose patience with the firm’s performance.
Hong Kong (CNN) – No research report in Hong Kong draws as many eyes and as much water cooler chatter as CLSA's Feng Shui Index, a pun-filled financial prophecy based on Chinese astrology.
Prepared by Philip Chow, CLSA's full-time transport analyst and part-time Feng Shui master, the report says to keep watch for a watershed moment in this Year of the Dragon. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) - Hong Kong is one of the world's richest cities. Almost one in 10 households boasts a millionaire. The government sits on a cash pile of about $80 billion. Yet Hong Kongers are choking, sometimes to death, on their own success.
A bold claim, but the statistics are compelling. The Hong Kong University School of Public Health has just unveiled a new real-time cost of pollution index. According to new research from the university and local think tank Civic Exchange, there are 3,200 avoidable deaths a year in Hong Kong due to air pollution - more than three times higher than previous estimates.
As I write this (at 7:15 p.m. HKT Tuesday) the index reports there has been seven preventable deaths and more than 14,000 preventable doctor's visits in Hong Kong in the 19 hours beginning midnight on Monday. Preventable, because the bad air quality that researchers say was responsible, can be easily improved.
Hong Kong (CNN) – While ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests perceived excesses of the capital markets, brokers in Hong Kong took to the streets Thursday to demonstrate against cuts in the length of their lunch break.
About 1,000 brokers, stock exchange staff and restaurant workers spent their 90-minute lunch break protesting against plans to cut their lunch hour to – well, an hour. Until last year, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange had a two-hour lunch break – the longest in the world for major bourses.
Exchange officials say the move, which is planned for implementation in March, is to keep the exchange competitive with other major exchanges. Japan and Singapore made similar moves last year to reduce the time their exchanges are closed to trading for lunch.
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