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  1. Hong Kong hotels operator L’hotel Group has turned to robots amid a Covid-19 driven slump in the hospitality sector, with the aim of providing meals to guests and ensuring reduced interaction with staff.The company, which is wholly owned by property developer Chinachem Group, will have three artificial intelligence robots called Genie delivering meals and drinks to guests at its 432-room L’hotel Island South property in Wong Chuk Hang, which welcomes guests in quarantine, by mid-April. L’hotel…
  2. Good day, traders -- The bears are back, after the Hang Seng saw two straight days of gains to start the week.  Keep up with the action throughout the day by circling back to us! -- Kathleen Magramo, Gigi Choy and Deb Price in Hong Kong    And, hey, are you getting your Live Stocks Blog every morning via email? You can! Don't miss out on our coverage of Hong Kong and mainland markets each trading day! If you would like the Live Stocks Blog emailed to you each morning, click here. If you…
  3. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed Hong Kong’s unemployment rate to a nine-year high, will put further pressure on housing prices in the city after they took a hit from the social unrest last year, according to market observers.“As recession in Hong Kong deepens, higher unemployment will likely erode housing demand as some prospective buyers retreat, while more owners may choose to sell, tilting the market dynamics to favour buyers more,” said Nelson Wong, head of research at JLL in…
  4. As the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic reached its height in 2003, corporate finance activity fell sharply with the volume of initial public offerings (IPO) dropping to levels not seen since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.But, activity snapped back when the outbreak abated later that year, with the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) nearly doubling and the number of IPOs exploding in a year.Deal makers, however, said the current coronavirus pandemic that…
  5. Property developers are targeting buyers from Hong Kong for their overseas projects from Sydney to London, hoping to garner sales in the city with the best performing currency in Asia amid the coronavirus pandemic.Revenue from overseas home listings increased by 50 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago, according to Hong Kong-based online property portal Spacious. Such listings have risen by 15 per cent to 20 per cent every month on its website, it said.The Hong Kong dollar has traded…
  6. Chinese consumers are shopping again, in a timely boost for the beleaguered economy, as they regain some semblance of normal life after unprecedented lockdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic.Demand for travel, cosmetics, outdoor gear and food has surged in recent weeks as policy-driven stimulus kicked in, workers returned to offices and factories and the government started easing restrictions on people’s movement.Transport bookings rose more than 50 per cent, while hotel…
  7. The spat between China and the US over the coronavirus simmers on as American politicians continue to “hold China accountable” for the self-inflicted tragedies from America’s ill-coordinated and belated response to Covid-19. For the White House, shifting the blame to China, to avoid taking responsibility, was an expedient political ploy. It is certainly far easier than exercising effective leadership. As some US hawks fumed that China was emerging as a saviour in this global pandemic, they…
  8. Hainan Airlines is calling a meeting with bondholders this week to seek a delay in repayment, citing tight liquidity as the coronavirus pandemic slammed travel and carriers worldwide.The airline, part of the debt-stricken HNA Group, is holding a conference call at 2pm local time April 10 with holders of its 750 million yuan (US$106.4 million) 4.35 per cent bond, according to a Shanghai Clearing House filing on Tuesday. The 270-day bond matures on April 17.Revenue has dropped significantly due…
  9. Hiring of technology and innovation talent is expected to accelerate across sectors as businesses face uncertain economic prospects amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to KPMG.“Digitalisation has become an urgent priority for businesses to adapt to the uncertain overall global economic prospects, and more recently as part of business continuity planning in view of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Murray Sarelius, partner and head of people services at KPMG.According to the accounting and…
  10. In the field of epidemiology, there is a saying: “If you’ve seen one pandemic, you’ve seen one pandemic.” But while all global disease outbreaks are epidemiologically unique, their likely economic consequences may be easier to discern. The longer-term consequences, however, sometimes bear little relation to the immediate economic challenges arising from the pandemic and efforts to tackle it. As governments around the world impose business lockdowns to cut the rate of Covid-19 transmission,…