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HONG KONG, Dec 18 (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.
-- Hong Kong's top court has declared it unconstitutional to deny social security to new immigrants, possibly adding an extra HK$750 million ($96.74 million) annually to the city's Comprehensive Social Security Assistance bill. ()
-- Hong Kong's Trade Development Council projects a 5.5 percent rise in the value of the city's merchandise exports next year, revised from an earlier forecast of 3.5 percent. ()
-- Hong Kong's largest employers' group has called for a review of the labour importation scheme after a survey of 160 companies found almost half of them with vacancy rates of between 6 and 15 percent. ()
-- A ban on Chinese mainland financial institutions from using bitcoin has been extended to all third-party payment service providers, leading to the virtual currency plunging in price by as much as 40 percent in one day. ()
-- Sun Hung Kai Properties hiked prices at Century Gateway phase two in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun by up to 1.6 percent, immediately after the first batch sold out. ()
-- HSBC will partner four mobile network operators in Hong Kong to launch an Android platform e-wallet next year allowing payment for transactions of up to HK$1,000 ($130) by the wave of a phone. ()
-- Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) won a judicial review of the Communications Authority's handling of Apple's phone locking policy, which HKT said breached competition rules but the regulator had refused to investigate its complaint.
-- The Hong Kong Housing Society has returned a piece of land in Hong Kong's Tin Shui Wai which was intended for elderly housing development to the Development Bureau. The area will be included in the government's land sale plan for next quarter.
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