ESF board delivers verdict on subvention
The board of the English Schools Foundation delivers its final decision on the government's decision to end its subvention for new pupils. The Education Bureau will begin phasing out its long-frozen HK$283 million annual subsidy for the ESF, leading to fee increases of about 20 per cent for new pupils starting in 2016. Fees for primary school pupils will increase to more than HK$84,000 under the plan.
Yuan bond ETF hits HK market
Trading begins in the first yuan bond exchange-traded fund to be listed in Hong Kong. Managed by BlackRock, the world's No1 asset manager, and primarily invested in yuan-denominated bonds issued offshore, the iShares RMB Bond Index ETF will track the Citi RMB Bond Capped Index. As of last month, eight of the index's top 10 components were bonds issued by either the central government or state-owned enterprises.
US Fed meets over monetary easing
The monetary policy committee of the US Federal Reserve begins two days of meetings that will be closely watched by the markets. The Fed is not expected to make any immediate changes to the central bank's monthly purchase of US$85 billion in bonds amid weakening industrial production figures. But observers will be looking for clues on whether the bank will begin "tapering" its monetary easing in the near future.
Philippine court hears birth control case
The Philippine Supreme Court hears a legal challenge to a hugely controversial birth control law, which is on hold due to the court's intervention. The law, which requires government health centres to hand out free condoms and for schools to teach sex education, has been hailed as a significant step in fighting poverty and reducing the maternal death rate. The country's powerful Catholic church is fiercely opposed to it.
Taiwan reveals more on education plan
Taiwan's education officials reveal a new school entrance mechanism ahead of the introduction of a compulsory 12-year education curriculum for all of the island's children next year. Parents are already concerned about the government's announcement last week of a household income threshold, below which families will be granted free tuition under the programme, set at NT$1.14 million (HK$296,000) per year.
Sarkozy fights to end Bettencourt probe
France's top court hears applications from former president Nicolas Sarkozy and six other people suspected of having taken advantage of elderly l'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt to have the cases against them dropped. Sarkozy was accused by a magistrate in Bordeaux of exploiting the 90-year-old Bettencourt's mental frailty to raise money for his 1997 re-election campaign.