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Business Daily #1404 October 18, 2017

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Debt of Alibaba's financial arm skyrockets E-commerce Page 12Wednesday, October 18 2017 Year VI  Nr. 1404  MOP 6.00  Publisher Paulo A.…
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Debt of Alibaba's financial arm skyrockets E-commerce Page 12Wednesday, October 18 2017 Year VI  Nr. 1404  MOP 6.00  Publisher Paulo A. Azevedo Closing Editor Kelsey Wilhelm   M&AMICEFormer legislator Chan Meng Kam snaps up Hotel Lan Kwai Fong for HK$2 bln Page 6MIF and PLPEX kick off Page 2www.macaubusiness.comLabour forceSurveyBanking and insurance sectors require more talent in coming years to support growth Page 4China’s GDP forecast slowing down Page 8Taming Tourism TourismDemand for tourism professionals already exceeds supply. With a gap of “more than 90 pct in institutions and market demand,” claims UNWTO Secretary-General. And the industry is blighted by a high turnover rate. Exceeding 63 pct, averaging five years in the field. Prepare, he says, as market share and prospects for Asia tourism “far better” than the rest of the world. Page 5Prevention is a processNo database for exchange of employee information between casino properties, says DICJ Director. Inspections and thirdparty reports currently track infractions. Three new proposed changes in public consultation - but main focus is on preventing frontline workers from entering gaming floor when off-duty.Off-plan units surgeReal estate Real estate An increase of 130 pct in offplan sales transactions in September. Driven by a new development in Taipa. With average prices of MOP154,469 per sq. m. And overall prices up 23 pct y-o-y. Peninsula units see 37 pct drop in sales y-o-y. Page 3Private poll: Industry impacted by yuanGaming Page 6HK Hang Seng Index October 17, 2017 28,697.49 +4.69 (+0.02%) Worst PerformersWant Want China Holdings+3.34%New World Development+0.81%Hong Kong Exchanges &-1.60%Industrial & Commercial-0.94%AAC Technologies Holdings+2.59%Geely Automobile Holdings+0.75%China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd-1.37%Hengan International Group-0.79%CK Asset Holdings Ltd+1.28%Henderson Land Develop-+0.66%China Resources Power-1.27%Bank of East Asia Ltd/The-0.71%-1.03%Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd-0.62%Hang Seng Bank Ltd+0.05%CNOOC Ltd+0.99%Link REIT+0.63%China Shenhua Energy CoAIA Group Ltd+0.98%China Mobile Ltd+0.57%Galaxy Entertainment Group-0.94%23°  29° 23°  29° 23°  29° 23°  29° 21°  28° TodaySource: BloombergBest PerformersTHUFRII SSN 2226-8294SATSUNSource: AccuWeatherCanton Fair A survey undertaken during the Canton Trade Fair is revealing. Suggesting the Mainland’s industrial sector is facing rough times. Increasing costs and product prices are cited. A crackdown on pollution is also quoted as worrying for industrial sector. Page 82    Business Daily Wednesday, October 18 2017MacauConferencesMIF a catalyst for disparate businesses With the country of Angola and the Chinese province of Guangdong its main partners the 22nd Macau International Fair (MIF) kicks off today in conjunction with the 2017 PLPEX (Exhibition of Products and Services from Portuguese-speaking Countries) Nelson Moura nelson.moura@macaubusinessdaily.comThe 22nd Macau International Fair (MIF) kicks off today, with the 2017 PLPEX (Exhibition of Products and Services from Portuguese-speaking Countries) to be held concurrently at The Venetian Macao from October 19 to 21. This year’s MIF will occupy 27,000 square metres, feature 1,500 stands and welcome over 1,000 enterprises from over 50 countries and regions, with the 2017 PLPEX to have 220 booths - 60 per cent more than the last edition - spread over 3,000 square metres. “Both exhibitions will be more innovative and richer in content than ever before, aiming to attract customers and bringing in more business opportunities for enterprises and investors from home and abroad,” Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) President Jackson Chang said yesterday. The Executive Director of IPIM, Irene Lau, stated that this year’s budget was expected to be the same as last year’s, at MOP33 million (US$4.1 million), but with the departmentconsidering it could be increased by 10 or 15 per cent in the case of unexpected damages - such as the those caused by the passage of a typhoon. Last year’s MIF was affected by Typhoon Haima, which led to the suspension of one of the event’s days. Last year’s edition saw the signing of 50 business protocols - two of them with Brazil - for tourism, Internet and cross-border commerce; IPIM representatives said this year would also see ‘plenty’ of agreements signed, with Ms. Lau stating the percentage of agreements signed at MIF that lead to actual investment “close to 85 per cent”. “There have been some problems with the implementation of certain agreements but projects with concrete objectives, such as the development of factories, have led to something. We always follow up on the projects and deals made and are available to help if issues are raised,” the IPIM Executive Director added.Angola in the spotlightThis year’s MIF has selected the Portuguese-speaking country of Angola as its partner country, a role filled by Portugal last year, while neighbouring Guangdongacts as the partner province, bringing a delegation of 250 people. Angolan representation includes a delegation of 50 companies and over 800 entrepreneurs, with the African country’s representative at the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China andrequire investments in agriculture, fishing and tourism,” Mr. Barbosa said yesterday. The Angolan representative also stated that after one year of negotiations the Angolan bank BIC will make a formal request to the MSAR authorities to open a branch in the city.Centre inaugurated IPIM Executive Director Gloria Batalha Ung told Business Daily that the Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries would be inaugurated today. The Centre is one of the measures announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the 5th Conference Ministerial Forum Macau held in October of last year.Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao), Belarmino Barbosa, stating yesterday that the delegation expects to sign several agreements for infrastructure development. “With [Angola] having passed through a long period of civil war that destroyed the country from north to south, the country is still in its development phase and needs almost everything. It’s why we appealed to Mainland China for financing. Now, to diversify the economy we alsoMr. Barbosa annoinced that the country’s new president - João Manuel Gonçalves, elected in August - will seek to improve the economic relations between Angola and Mainland China via measures such as increasing the speed of work visa procedures. “Chinese businessman have complained that acquiring a visa to the country takes many months, so the new president requested the process be revised,” he added.TravelTourismAirAsia to fly direct to PhuketTight-knit travel neighboursMalaysian budget carrier AirAsia has announced the launch of a new direct route from Macau to Phuket, a popular tourist destination in Thailand, according to a press release. In response to Business Daily enquiries, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that the route opened for ticket sales on October 16, and will be ‘flying daily’ from Macau to Phuket ‘with no stopover in Bangkok’ starting January 8, 2018. It is the first time AirAsia has launched a direct route connecting the two destinations. ‘Coupled with AirAsia’s many other direct flights to Macau, the new route promises to bring in more tourists to [the city],’ AirAsia saidTourism deals website Travelzoo identifies Macau as the destination that attracted more online clicks from Hong Kong users for travel deals in the first half of this year, claims a company release. Through its weekly newsletter, Travelzoo published 521 tourism deals in the first six months of this year, reaching some 500,000 Hong Kong members, with destinations in Asia Pacific comprising nine of the top10 most-clicked destinations. After Macau, deals for Bangkok and Taipei were the most popular, with General Manager of Travelzoo in Hong Kong Kevin Shui stating: “Undoubtedly, short-haul travel deals are most well received by [Travelzoo]in its reply. The airline currently operates eight routes from Macau, linking the city to three cities in Thailand - Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya – and to Jakarta in Indonesia, to Manila in the Philippines, and to Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, the latter starting 28 November, in Malaysia. S.Z.members”. According to the release, in terms of clicks and conversion rates Hong Kong’s travellers preferred deals for Macau - especially involving hotel and spas, with hotel packages for the city provided by Travelzoo having performed the best in the first half of 2017. “It’s not uncommon to see a new Macau hotel in our Top 20 [list] attract almost 20,000 views and hundreds of enquiries in less than 72 hours,” added Shui. Four Japanese regions - Osaka, Tokyo, Okinawa and Nagoya - were included in the top 10 listing, with deals for Hong Kong itself ranking eighth.Business Daily Wednesday, October 18 2017    3MacauReal EstateOff-plan unit sales surged in September New residential project in Taipa see extensive growth in off-plan unit sales Cecilia U cecilia.u@macaubusinessdaily.comAtotal of 145 transactions for off-plan sales were registered in the MSAR during the month of September, indicating a surge of 130.2 per cent compared to the previous month, according to the latest official data released by the Financial Services Bureau (DSF). When compared to the same month last year, transactions grew by 45 per cent from the 100 off-plan units sold. The sharp growth wasinfluenced by the launch of new development project YOHO Twins in Taipa next to the Macau Roosevelt Hotel, overlooking the Macau Jockey Club. The average cost of buying off-plan units last month was MOP154,469 (US$19,208) per square metre, up 12.2 per cent month-on-month and 37.5 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, some 522 completed housing units were sold during the month, a slight decline of 1.7 per cent compared to August and a more prominent drop of 37.4 per cent from one year ago. Buyers paid MOP87,331 per square metre on average foralready completed units last month, down 1.9 per cent month-on-month but up 11.6 per cent year-on-year. The city recorded 667 housing transactions last month, an increase of 12.3 per cent compared to 594 transactions in August, yet representing a year-onyear drop of 28.6 per cent. Regarding prices, the city experienced both monthon-month and year-onyear increases, up 6 per cent to MOP100,487 (US$12,496) per square metre from MOP94,822 in August and an increase of 22.9 per cent compared to MOP81,769 per square metre a year ago.Transactions in Taipa pick upOf the total number of housing transactions, 194 were made for residential units in Taipa, registering growth of 120.5 per cent last month, compared to the 88 transactions made in August. Year-on-year, the number of transactions grew by 4.9 per cent. The average housing price in Taipa was MOP117,805 per square metre, an increase of 23.4 per cent month-on-month, and up from the MOP89,963 per square metre registered in the same month last year, a rise of 30.9 per cent.For houses sold on the M a c a u P e n i n s u l a, 4 5 7 u n i t s w e r e p u rc h a s e d, registering a month-onm o n th d r o p o f 5 . 2 p e r c e n t . C o m p a r e d t o 728 transactions in September last year, the number of houses sold fell 37.2 per cent. T h e av e r a g e c o s t o f buying a property on the Macau Peninsula rose b y 3 p e r c e n t m o n t hon-month to MOP91,339 p e r s q u a r e m e t r e . Th e price also showed an increase when compared to MOP77,432 per square metre registered a year ago, up 18 per cent. advertisement4    Business Daily Wednesday, October 18 2017Macau OpinionJosé I. Duarte* Housing questions The recently published government report on the future needs of public housing indicates both demand (in 2026) and supply (in the “medium and long-term” – the time precision is somewhat looser here) will stand in the neighbourhood of 40,000 housing units. Implicitly at least, these figures appear to suggest that sometime in the future - ten years, maybe longer - residents’ housing problems will be overcome. These figures raise some questions. Before jumping into that, however, let us underline the fact that the report makes a significant effort to explain the methodologies used and the foundations of the forecasts. In that, praise it deserves, and we can only wish that more studies follow the example. Everybody who has ever been involved in analysing trends and making forecasts that will be used as a basis for a public policy will recognise the difficulties of the task, its strengths, and its limitations. Social and political realities seldom comply with models and their predictions. Therefore, more often than not, the most critical aspect is not the precision of the forecast, the ‘truth’ of what the model anticipates at a particular point in time. It is the quality and reliability of the frame of reference that underpins the projections, and its principal merit lies – or should lie – in its usefulness as a guide for policy monitoring and future adjustments. The report offers an abundance of useful figures that provide a basis for serious discussion, but both the figures and the conclusions the report reaches also raise several questions. Remember at the end of 2016 there were about 47,700 public housing units More than half were built before the handover - over a period of 20 years - when the population was noticeably smaller and also, lest we forget, noticeably less affluent. And to be eligible for public housing a candidate must be a resident, cannot already own a property, and must have an income below a certain threshold. Under such restrictions, and without changes in the current legal thresholds, the study expects up to more than 40,000 families will be looking for public housing in less than ten years from now. How does that fit in with, namely, the aging and slower growth of the resident population, the high existing homeownership rate and the high-income per capita level? They do not fit smoothly; some assumptions may need a re-assessment. *economist and permanent contributor to this newspaper.LabourDemand buoyant for e-banking and private banking specialists Survey results reveal that majority of practitioners in banking and insurance sectors obtain no internationally recognised qualifications Cecilia U cecilia.u@macaubusinessdialy.comThe demand for specialists in e-banking and private banking is set to experience extensive growth as the financial sector in the city develops, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Talent Development Committee (CDT). The CDT report details future demand for specialists in the financial and insurance sectors for the coming three to six years. Taking into account recent advances in technology, the Committee has advocated developing e-banking, promoting its useage amongst all local operators to match demand. The report details estimates that 749 bankers will be needed in the sector within three years. In the next six years the number of banking specialists needed will reach 1,488, while currently 231 specialists are needed in the sector. Specifically, the positions that would experience highest demand in the coming years are for tellers, staff in the credit business, customers services, programmers and accountants. The report also disclosed a 13.52 per cent labour turnover rate in 2016. Major reasons for leaving the jobs indicated by 22 bank survey respondents were leaving for another bank – 77.27 per cent indicated employees had done so, leaving for a public service job; 72.72 per cent of respondents indicated employees had done so, due to unsatisfactory remuneration; 50 per cent responded that employees had given this indication. Although vacancies can be filled by hiring blue-card holders, banks often choose not to opt for this route due to slow approval procedures. The CDT suggested training workersin order to achieve higher work productivity, laying out plans to attract younger employees to the industry and loosening requirements for banks to hire foreign workers. Also, training can be performed for certain specific positions, such as local legal personnel and more talks and training courses can be held by the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) or other related institutions. The government should also put more effort into promoting the positive future of the industry, both locally and internationally, the group opines. The city has great potential in the banking industry, notes the CDT, but development is still in its preliminary stage, adding that the majority of practitioners in the industry do not obtain internationally recognised qualifications. As such, the Committee advised the city to make use of its role in the Belt and Road Initiative as well as serving as a platform between the Mainland and Portuguese-speaking countries.Insurance sectorAccording to the report, the city will need 32 practitioners in the coming three years for selling life insurance, and 35 for the non-life insurance business. In the coming six years, the industry will require 41 life insurance practitioners and 54 other insurance service personnel. Currently, there are 502 local and 53 non-local practitioners, among whom 198 of the practitioners are involved in life insurance and 357 in non-life insurance businesses. For the life insurance segment clerks, business representatives and salespersons and human resources and training directors will be most highly in demand. Managers in marketing, customer service, insurance services andcompensation, underwriters, business representatives and salespersons will be the most needed positions in the non-life insurance segment. The report revealed that the turnover rate was 10.15 per cent in 2016, with 68.75 per cent of the 16 insurance companies which responded to the survey indicating their employees left the company for jobs in other industries. Similarly, insurance companies suffer from challenges in getting approval for hiring blue-card holders, although the report notes that often applications are not approved due to a lack of convincing reasons regarding the necessity of employing foreign workers. The CDT advised that the responsible department relax requirements for approving blue-card holders, as well as strengthening the training of local insurance practitioners. The government should offer funding for related courses and create co-operational plans with insurers to attract practitioners in order to further upgrade their specialties, it notes. Promotion about future development is also necessary for the insurance industry. According to the report, currently 75 per cent of insurers consist of fewer than 30 full-time practitioners, since the majority of practitioners work part-time. Like the banking industry, most practitioners do not have internationally recognised qualifications. The CDT concluded that it is necessary to introduce specialists from overseas to stimulate the development of the financial leasing industry due to a shortage in the city. The Committee advised laying out plans for introducing overseas related specialists as well as training courses for local practitioners.Business Daily Wednesday, October 18 2017    5Macau TourismWorldwide lack of tourism professionals Secretary-General of UNWTO says tourism industry in Asia has promising prospects Cecilia U cecilia.u@macaubusinessdaily.comThe fast growing worldwide demand for tourism professionals is exceeding supply, with only 0.08 per cent of high school graduates choosing to study the field at university, according to Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Dr. Taleb Rifai. His statements were made during a public seminar held yesterday at the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT). “There is a gap of more than 90 per cent in those who are properly trained
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