In Brief

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 January, 2007, 12:00am

Drop in number of new private flats unsold

The number of new private flats unsold stood at 59,000 at the end of last month, a drop of 6,000 from the end of the previous quarter, a Housing Department survey shows. Better sales and a construction slowdown caused the drop, the department said. Developers sold 4,000 homes in the last quarter.

Work began on building just 1,400 homes in the quarter, the lowest quarterly total of the year. Wong Leung-sing, Centaline Property Agency research manager, said demand for mass-market homes was dropping as the population aged, allowing developers to focus on lower-density luxury housing. There would not be a housing shortage, he said.

Bankruptcy petitions up 6pc in December

Personal bankruptcy petitions last month totalled 762, down nearly a quarter on November's figure but up nearly 6 per cent on the number filed in December 2005. The Official Receiver's Office received 10,685 bankruptcy petitions last year, an increase of 7.57 per cent from 2005. It received 674 winding-up petitions against companies, a drop of nearly 30 per cent on the previous year.

New WTO permanent representative named

Deputy Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Martin Glass is Hong Kong's new permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation, the government said. Mr Glass, 54, is taking over from Tony Miller, 56, who begins pre-retirement leave on February 21. Mr Glass joined the government in 1984.

Nominations for Kam Ying seat open next week

Nominations for a by-election to fill a vacancy for the Kam Ying seat on Sha Tin District Council open on Thursday and end on February 7. Nominees need the support of 10 registered voters to stand in the election. Each elector is allowed to subscribe to only one nomination. Details are available at