Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 3:49am


Boost for Cepa free-trade deal

Top officials from the mainland and Hong Kong will sign the 10th supplement to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement at the city's government headquarters in Tamar, Admiralty. The latest measure should mean more preferential access for Hong Kong's service industries to the mainland market. Putting pen to paper will be Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah and for the central government, Vice-Minister of Commerce Gao Yan.


Slower earnings growth tipped for banks

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) - the world's largest lender by market value - and Bank of China will announce results today. There are fears both may report slower earnings growth, further denting mainland banking shares which are already trading near record-low valuations. Bad loans at the mainland's commercial lenders have also been climbing steadily, adding to investor concerns. On Sunday, China Construction Bank, the mainland's second-largest lender by assets, announced the smallest earnings gain in five quarters.


Jailed doctor who helped find bin Laden appeals

An appeal hearing is due to resume in Pakistan for Shakeel Afridi, who was found guilty of treason and jailed for 33 years after helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden. The CIA had instructed the doctor to set up a fake vaccination scheme to gain entry to the house where it suspected bin Laden was living. The aim was to extract DNA samples from the al-Qaeda chief's family. Samples confirmed the terrorist was probably there and triggered a raid by US Navy Seals in May 2011 when bin Laden was killed.


Asia Adult Expo debuts in Hong Kong

It took several attempts, but finally, the Asia Adult Expo and Intimate Lingerie Asia makes its debut in Hong Kong, starting at the Convention and Exhibition Centre today and running until Saturday. For those with a fascination for sex toys and associated products, there will also be an adult expo in Macau in December. The organisers say the market for such products is a lucrative one in Asia.


Briefing on Sino-African trade ties

Vice-Minister of Commerce Li Jinzao gives a briefing on Sino-African trade relations as the State Council Information Office publishes a white paper entitled "China-Africa Economic and Trade Co-operation". China has brought cheap consumer goods and built many roads and schools in Africa over the last decade, but the continent's leaders are increasingly pushing for it to help them create jobs.



Champions League group stage draw

The draw for the group stage of the Champions League soccer tournament will be decided in a ceremony in Monaco. The 32 sides, including titleholders Bayern Munich, are split into four seeding pots and teams are then drawn into the eight groups.