HONG KONG, June 10 (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 ECONOMIC JOURNAL
-- The number of visitors to Hong Kong in May fell 13.5 percent from a year earlier to about 2 million as a result of the outbreak on the new H1N1 influenza virus. The weak trend is expected to continue in June until the July-August peak season, according to data from the city’s tourism board. -- China National Materials (1893.HK) plans to issue between 1.7 billion yuan and 4.2 billion yuan in five-year notes, raising capital to meet operational needs and to improve its debt structure.
-- Fitch Ratings revised down its economic growth forecast for Hong Kong this year to a 9.1 percent contraction from a 6.4 percent fall, as shrinking exports would impact the economy, according to Fitch managing director James McCormack.
-- The number of jobs available in the first quarter fell 0.04 percent, the first drop since 2004, but more than half of 101 companies surveyed said they intended to hire staff in the second quarter, suggesting the job market was about to bottom out, according to a survey by a human resources group.
-- Ping An Insurance (601318.SS) (2318.HK), an insurer 16.8 percent owned by HSBC (0005.HK), is eyeing a 30 percent stake in Shenzhen Development Bank (000001.SZ) in a deal worth about 20 billion yuan ($2.93 billion), according to sources.
-- Mainland thernardite producer Lumena Resources Corp’s HK$1.24 billion IPO appeared to be headed for success, with the portion reserved for fund managers and retail investors about five times subscribed, sources said.
-- Shenzhen Airlines, the nation’s fifth-largest airline, was confident of recording a profit this year despite the economic downturn, and was planning to list shares in Hong Kong or Shanghai, said chief executive Li Kun on the sidelines of an industry meeting in Kuala Lumpur. APPLE DAILY
-- The government is spending HK$1 billion on new H1N1 influenza and other flu vaccines to provide free inoculations to 2 million people at risk, including the elderly, children and medical staff, and another half a million non-high-risk people at their own expense, according to Health Minister York Chow.
-- Companies including MTR Corporation (0066.HK) are interested in participating in constructing a 28.8-kilometre section rail link, with investment totalling 16.9 billion yuan, as part of a railway project in Fuzhou, according to sources.
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