Business Digest, September 26, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 3:33am

Look-ahead economic index accelerates

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for the mainland rose at a faster pace last month, signalling the economy may be stabilising. A preliminary reading was 1.7 per cent higher than in July, the biggest rise in seven months, the Conference Board, a New York-based research group, said. Bloomberg


Consumer confidence, home prices rise in US

Confidence among US consumers rose this month to a seven-month high. The Conference Board's index increased to 70.3 from 61.3 last month. And home prices as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 1.2 per cent in July from a year earlier, the most since August 2010. Both increases could lead to a pickup in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of the US economy. Bloomberg


HKEx issuing bonds to fund LME purchase

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing is issuing US$500 million (HK$3.88 billion) of convertible bonds to finance its acquisition of the London Metal Exchange. The bonds, which mature in 2017 and bear an annual coupon of 0.5 per cent, are convertible into HKEx shares at an initial conversion price of HK$160. HKEx shares declined 2.61 per cent to close at HK$115.80. The deal awaits British regulatory approval in November. Enoch Yiu


Re-exports edge up as local exports slide

Hong Kong's total exports of goods rose 0.6 per cent year on year to HK$311.7 billion last month, after falling 3.5 per cent in July, Census and Statistics Department figures show. Re-exports rose 0.7 per cent to HK$306.2 billion last month, but domestic exports fell 7.2 per cent to HK$5.5 billion. Imports of goods rose 0.9 per cent to HK$347.7 billion after falling 1.8 per cent in July. Sandy Li