In Brief

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 October, 2004, 12:00am

Bankruptcies at lowest level in three years

Bankruptcy petitions are at their lowest level in more than three years after falling for the third consecutive month, according to government figures released yesterday.

A total of 858 people filed for personal bankruptcy last month, 135 fewer than the August figure and down almost 20 per cent from the June high of 1,069 cases. The number of cases in the first nine months of the year came to 9,499, a dramatic 46 per cent decrease compared with the same period last year.

poll finds strong support for AN end to ESTATE DUTY

Estate duty should be abolished, because rich people have already developed ways to lower or avoid tax payments, according to 70 per cent of respondents to a household survey.

The results of the survey, commissioned by Ernst & Young and carried out by the University of Hong Kong, were released as the government's three-month consultation on estate duty nears its close next Wednesday. The findings will be reviewed before next year's budget.

In the survey, 70 per cent agreed the tax should be scrapped, while the same proportion said that if the tax were retained, the threshold of $7.5 million should be raised.

police return diamonds two years after heist

At a ceremony in Maoming, Guangdong, mainland police returned diamonds worth $800,000 stolen in a robbery in Hong Kong two years ago.

At about 4pm on July 17, 2002, two diamond dealers were attacked by two men in Causeway Bay. The robbers snatched a bag containing diamonds worth about $3 million. One of the robbers was later arrested by Hong Kong police.

Information about the robbery was passed to mainland authorities in August that year, leading to the arrest of five men and a woman on the mainland.

The Maoming officers also recovered 39 diamonds valued at $800,000, believed to be part of the stolen goods.