Briefs, September 17, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 5:06am

Record number of passengers at airport

Passenger and air traffic movements both set new monthly records for a second month in August, according to the Hong Kong International Airport. Boosted by burgeoning demand during the summer holiday period, passenger volume reached 5.2 million, up 3.9 per cent year on year. Flight movements hit a record 30,470, a rise of 5.2 per cent from last year, and more growth is expected. For the first eight months of the year, the airport handled 37.9 million passengers and processed 2.6 million tonnes of cargo, representing growth of 5.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively from a year earlier. Sophie Yu

Toll-road operator sells stake in developer

China Resources and Transportation, which operates a toll expressway in Inner Mongolia, has sold its 55 per cent stake in its wholly owned subsidiary, Yichang Xinshougang Property Development, to an independent third party for HK$550 million. The company said yesterday that it had disposed of the non-core asset to focus on its toll expressway business. Sophie Yu

Alliance Boots invests £56m in drugs firm

Alliance Boots, the owner of Europe's largest pharmacy chain, will buy a 12 per cent stake in China's Nanjing Pharmaceutical for about £56 million (HK$704 million). The deal, initially announced more than a year ago, would strengthen Alliance Boots' ties with China's government and regulators, Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said yesterday. Reuters

Myanmar launches first debit cards

Myanmar launched its first debit cards on Friday, giving customers the chance to use plastic for shopping, dining and travel for the first time in the latest leap forward for its cash-dominated economy. The central bank announced the formation of the Myanmar Payment Union in co-operation with 17 banks, which will let customers take out cash from any ATM machine nationwide and make payments in a small number of shops, restaurants and offices. Reuters

World's 40 richest just got richer

The 40 richest people on earth added a combined US$29 billion to their collective net worth last week as global stocks soared. The biggest gainer was Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index. His fortune soared US$2.2 billion after shares of his Riyadh-based Kingdom rose 17.6 per cent. The company announced plans to renovate the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. Bloomberg