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By: Chi On LIU、Runqing LI、Yixin GaoEdited by: Yixin Gao


Policy Address 2023: Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee hopes to revive flagging stock market with cut on stamp duty

  • By: Chi On LIU、Runqing LI、Yixin GaoEdited by: Yixin Gao
  • 2023-10-25

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee, announced his government will ease the stamp duty on stock transfer from 0.13% to 0.10% for the sluggish stock market in today’s policy address.  “A vibrant stock market is vital for upholding Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and maintaining our competitiveness,” said Lee. Mark Li, 51, an individual stock investor who has invested in the Hong Kong stock market for more than 20 years, said that this policy would attract more short-term investors such as him.  “Relying on this decline, I can always put a huge amount of money to buy the stock at a low price and sell it at a higher price on the same day at a lower cost,” said Li.  Billy Mak Sui-Choi,40, an associate director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Financial Policy at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that the decrease of stamp duty on stock transfer would increase the stock liquidity but could not ensure all investors trade more frequently as the deduction of stamp duty on stock transfer had less effect on long-term investors. “Even though the stamp duty does not decrease, the long-term investors will be unaware as the 0.13% stamp duty can easily be diluted,” said Mak. “Also, the biggest concern from people is not stamp duty but corporates’ performance.” The Hong Kong Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-Po, also wrote in his weekly blog on Sept. 3 that decreasing the stamp duty on stock transfer was not enough to stimulate the Hong Kong stock market structurally in the long term. “The drop of 0.03% is minimal,” said Chris Wong, 24, a corporate banker. “For example, if you invest HK$ 10,000 on the stock market and only spend three dollars less, it will not affect a lot,” he added.  Wong said …


Policy address 2023: Hong Kong to pay HK$20,000 for each newborn baby

  • By: Yuqi CHU、Juncong SHUAIEdited by: Chengqi MO
  • 2023-10-25

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced a plan to pay parents a HK$20,000 newborn baby bonus among other incentives including tax-deduction, housing arrangement and child caring services in an attempt to reverse the falling birth rate. “It is imperative that the Government set a firm policy direction to encourage childbearing amid our persistently low birth rate,” Lee said. Hong Kong’s birth rate hit its record low last year, with only 701 live births per 1000 women, according to the latest statistics from Census and Statistics Department. The one-off cash bonus of $20,000 will be provided to parents who are Hong Kong Permanent Residents for each baby born from today in Hong Kong.  The government will also raise the accommodation-related tax deduction ceiling for home loan interest or domestic rents from HK$100,000 to HK$120,000, for those who live with their first child born today or after until the child is 18-year-old. To further support those families with newborns, more priority will be given for them  in subsidised sale flats purchase and public rental housing allocation.  Lee noted that from next April, the household and child allowances will increase 15% to alleviate the working family’s childbearing burden. More childcare centres are also planned to open in the coming years. Next year, the pre-primary child care assistance  Sylvia Pun, 27, who is newly married, said the new policies inspired her to consider having a child.  “This represents the government’s determination to encourage parents to give birth and raise children. I hope that there will be more comprehensive policy help in the future to dispel the worries of fertile parents,” she said. However, Lee Tsz-han, 29, felt disappointed by the incentives. “As far as I know, the cost of vaginal delivery in private hospitals generally ranges from HK$40,000 to HK$60,000,” she said, “HK$20,000 …


Policy Address 2023: Hong Kong halves the buyer stamp duty for the first time

  • By: Junzhe JIANG、Lisheng CHENGEdited by: Zimo ZHONG
  • 2023-10-25

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced that the buyer stamp duty is halved and published the stamp duty suspension arrangement with immediate effect for incoming talents on Wednesday to boost the local property market in his latest policy address. The Hong Kong government will cut the current buyer stamp duty in half to 7.5% and will postpone levying double stamp duties for incoming talents who have not yet become Hong Kong permanent residents.  Meanwhile, the applicable period of special stamp duty will be shortened from three years to two years, meaning property owners will no longer pay the 10% special stamp duty if they choose to resell the property after two years of acquisition. “Compared with last year’s policy, these new policies are more direct to property buyers,” said Martin Wong, head of research and consultancy for Knightfrank, a global property consultancy based in Hong Kong. John Lee published the Proposed Refund Mechanism for non-local residents to attract talent in his 2022 policy address with the condition that the double stamp duties will be refunded if non-permanent residents buy their new property after Oct. 19, 2022. Terence Li, senior principal account manager of Centaline Property, said: “30% stamp duties are always too high for non-local buyers, and last year’s policy is not that attractive as it’s hard for those non-local residents to reach the seven-year mark.” The price of properties in Hong Kong dropped 15.2%, and the trading amount of primary and secondary markets dropped 39% in 2022 compared with 2021, according to the Rating and Valuation Bureau of Hong Kong. From 2009 to 2016, a series of measures were introduced with the intention of reducing speculative demand and restraining the surging home prices that had surged after the conclusion of the SARS outbreak in July 2003. The special …