PRESS DIGEST-Hong Kong - Aug 30

Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:44pm EDT

Aug 30 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- Hong Kong signed a new supplement to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with the mainland, giving further preferential access for the city's service sectors across the border.

The new measures relating to securities will allow Hong Kong-funded financial institutions to apply for qualified foreign investor status that will allow them to set up joint venture fund management companies in mainland China. (link.reuters.com/fyf72v)

-- Air China Ltd said it expects the drop in air fares on the mainland to narrow in the second half of the year as demand on domestic routes shows signs of a rebound. (link.reuters.com/gyf72v)

-- China Merchants Holdings (International) Co Ltd Managing director Hu Jianhua said the group's investment in a $500 million mega-port in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which opened earlier this month, would endure start-up losses, but he expected the project to break even in two years. (link.reuters.com/hyf72v)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- Standard Chartered Bank is chasing former chief secretary Rafael Hui for debts amounting to HK$1.2 million ($154,700). The bank becomes the fourth financial institution to sue Hui for unpaid debts.

THE STANDARD

-- Property developer K Wah International Holdings Ltd chairman Lui Che-woo said local home prices were likely to fall by 10 to 20 percent. However, the company expects home sales in the mainland to be higher-than-expected in the second half. (link.reuters.com/jyf72v)

MING PAO DAILY NEWS

-- Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd sold Metropolitan Plaza, a shopping mall in Guangzhou, to GCREF Acquisitions 22 Ltd, for a total cash consideration of HK$3.03 billion.

SING TAO DAILY

-- China Life Insurance Co expects to set up an e-commerce arm by the end of the year, and has signed a cooperation agreement with Alibaba Group to sell products online, said the insurer's Chairman Yang Ming sheng.

For Chinese newspapers, see............... ($1 = 7.7555 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Editing by Anand Basu)

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