PRESS DIGEST - Hong Kong - May 23

HONG KONG Thu May 22, 2014 9:51pm EDT

HONG KONG May 23 (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

-- An Italian journalist who mounted an undercover operation to expose a suspected eastern European gangster told the District Court how easy it was to set up a money-laundering operation in Hong Kong. (link.reuters.com/nuq59v)

-- A more complete picture of Hong Kong, including all the off-street nooks and crannies, will soon be available online in 3D, via mapping developed by the University of Science and Technology. The comprehensive map of the city is being touted as better than those from Google and Apple. (link.reuters.com/puq59v)

-- Shanghai vice-mayor Tu Guangshao has heralded further financial liberalisation in the city's free-trade zone, fuelling speculation about future full convertibility of the yuan in the test bed for mainland economic reform. (link.reuters.com/quq59v)

THE STANDARD

-- Cheung Kong Holdings has priced its first batch of 350 units at City Point in Tsuen Wan close to those of secondary homes nearby, prompting some owners to cut their asking prices. The joint project has a price tag of up to HK$12,071 ($1,600) per sellable sq ft after a discount of up to 15.75 percent. (link.reuters.com/suq59v)

-- The "Father of Lan Kwai Fong," Allan Zeman, says he supports the idea of Hong Kong expanding into Hengqin in Zhuhai or Nansha as Hong Kong needs to compete with mainland cities. (link.reuters.com/vuq59v)

-- Staff training budgets grew to 3.1 percent of annual salaries last year, the highest since 2009, as companies want to develop and retain staff, a survey by personnel experts showed. This is the second-biggest proportion since 2004, the study by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management found. (link.reuters.com/wuq59v)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

-- Sunac China Holdings Ltd said it would buy 24.3 percent of Greentown China Holdings Ltd for about HK$6.3 billion ($812.52 million), a price equivalent to HK$12 per Greentown share or 56 percent premium to the previous close.

-- Property-to-transportation group Shun Tak Holdings Ltd said it would sell its funeral service business in Macau for HK$624 million ($80.48 million).

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- Li & Fung Ltd's planned spinoff firm Global Brands Group is set to be a high growth company and is planning to acquire more brands which have potential to expand globally, according to Chief Executive Officer Bruce Rockowitz.

For Chinese newspapers, see............... ($1 = 7.7537 Hong Kong Dollars) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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