Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...
Beijing exhibit looks at home sales
The quarterly home sales exhibition opening today in Beijing may shed further light on market sentiment. Shui On Land's chairman Vincent Lo Hong-sui said mainland property prices may fall in the next 12 to 18 months as banks curb loans to real estate firms, and the mainland's biggest real estate website Soufun said property sales in 19 out of the 35 cities surveyed fell last week. The Beijing Autumn Real Property Trade Fair lasts until Saturday.
District council nominations start today
The two-week nomination for district council elections begins today. A total of 412 elected members will be returned in the elections scheduled for November 6. Various groups from the pan-democratic camp plan to field a total of about 250 candidates, compared with about 260 from their rivals in the government-friendly camp.
Small and medium-sized enterprises in spotlight
The China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises hosts its annual SMEs Finance Forum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, tomorrow. Gu Shengzu, a National People's Congress Standing Committee member, recently said as many as 70 per cent of SMEs on the mainland were facing adverse operating conditions, and about 90 per cent had to turn to private financing amid tight monetary policy, making bank loans hard to come by.
Myanmese to mark democracy day for first time
Myanmar's union parliament will hold a ceremony to observe the International Day of Democracy for the first time in the country. Jointly organised by the two houses of the union parliament, the International Day of Democracy 2011, falling today, would bring together parliament members, government officials, representatives of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations, local-based foreign correspondents and reporters of local periodicals, said the New Light of Myanmar daily.
Najib tipped to make security law changes
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, hoping to reconnect with voters, is tipped to unveil changes today to a controversial security law to allow greater freedom of speech. Najib was studying amendments to curb the interior minister's powers and reduce the period of initial imprisonment under the Internal Security Act, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The premier was expected to make an announcement on the reform today, the source added.
Philadelphia Fed delivers business outlook
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve issues its Business Outlook Survey today. Last month's was so poor it triggered a large stock market sell-off. The survey of manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District, conducted each month since May 1968, indicates the direction of change in overall business activity and in the various measures of activity at plants: employment, working hours, new and unfilled orders, shipments, inventories, delivery times, prices paid, and prices received.