PRESS DIGEST -Hong Kong - Feb 19

HONG KONG Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:16pm EST

HONG KONG Feb 19 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- Ji Wenlin, a former right-hand man of retired public security tsar Zhou Yongkang, has been placed under investigation by the Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog, in the latest sign that the net is closing around the retired political heavyweight. ()

-- Hong Kong must play an active role in developing an international network for cross-border business in the yuan if it is to maintain its leadership in a global market for the currency that could grow by 300 per cent over the next decade, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan said. ()

-- Apple scored a neat hat-trick in Hong Kong last year as the technology giant led sales of smartphones, media tablets and laptop personal computers, market estimates show. ()

THE STANDARD

-- Octopus owners can now use their cards to pay for goods on Alibaba's online shopping site, Taobao, with the added incentive of paying a lower service charge compared with credit cards. ()

-- Sun Hung Kai Properties sold its first batch of 64 flats in its The Riva residential development in Yuen Long on the first day of sale at prices as much as 10 percent lower than used homes in the same area. ()

-- Hong Kong jobless rate has fallen to the lowest in 16 years, helped by increased consumption during the festive season, and the trend is expected to continue. The 3.1 percent unemployment rate for November to January was 0.1 percentage point down from the previous three months, according to the Census and Statistics Department. ()

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

-- Horizons Ventures, a venture fund controlled by Cheung Kong Chairman Li Ka-shing, has teamed up with other investors to invest a total HK$180 million ($23.21 million) in food technology start-up Hampton Creek Foods.

-- Chinese pork supplier Huisheng International saw the retail portion of its initial public offering in Hong Kong oversubscribed 890 times in just two days of bookbuilding, attracting HK$21.92 billion ($2.83 billion) in subscription.

-- Population in Hong Kong was 7.22 million at the end of 2013, an increase of 0.6 percent from the same period in 2012, according to government data.

APPLE DAILY

-- Hutchison Whampoa is expected to post an increase of up to 19 percent in 2013 profit, without any major exceptional gains to boost the bottomline, according to brokers' estimation.

For Chinese newspapers, see...............

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