URA's bond scheme attracts dozens of banks, fund managers The Urban Renewal Authority's HK$1.5 billion bond issue on Monday has attracted dozens of international and local banks and private fund managers. The three-year bond scheme, aimed at raising funds for redevelopment projects, has an interest rate of 2.08 per cent. It was oversubscribed by over 60 per cent. Authority chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen said the authority might issue retail bonds to individual investors if there was a further need for cash. As at March, the authority had cash of about HK$7 billion. Work begins on Tamar site Work on the superstructure for the new Tamar Development Project has begun this month, according to a progress report submitted to lawmakers yesterday. The bulk of the excavation is expected to be completed by the summer. Substructure works are expected to be completed by early next year. The new development will house the Legislative Council and government headquarters. It is expected to be operational by 2012. HK$9m for quake, flood relief Four grants from the government's Disaster Relief Fund, totalling HK$9.18 million, have been allocated for relief projects to help earthquake victims in Yunnan and flood victims in four provinces on the mainland, the government said. Charity groups Amity Foundation, World Vision Hong Kong and the Association of Chinese Evangelical Ministry received grants of between HK$920,000 and HK$3.67 million to undertake the projects. Loan applications surge 50pc Applications for the Small and Medium Enterprises Special Loan Guarantee Scheme have surged 50 per cent since a month ago, when the government increased its guarantee ratio from 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the loan. Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Yvonne Choi Ying-pik said it was receiving about 150 applications a day. The average loan amount had also increased from HK$1.9 million to HK$2.9 million.