GBA Briefs: 3/20/2020

Cathay shuts down: Cathay Pacific Airways will operate only 4% of its services in April and May, down to three flights a week to 12 destinations, citing a drastic drop in demand and travel restrictions. The group’s subsidiary HK Express has announced to halt all flights from March 23. SCMP.

Bad loans climb: Bad loans are on the rise in the banking sector, which recorded 3.3 trillion yuan of nonperforming loans, or 2.08% of total outstanding loans by the end of February, 0.05 percentage point higher than January. Caixin.

Shenzhen CPI: Shenzhen’s CPI has dropped by 0.1% in February from January, 2.3 percent points lower than the previous month’s growth rate, said the Shenzhen team of National Statistics Bureau, citing price-control measures by the government as well as a sluggish property rental market. Food prices rose by 2.5% while service prices fell by 1.6% month-on-month. Sznews.com.

Shenzhen boosts infrastructure: Shenzhen has started plans on the construction of five new railway projects today, totalling 410km of length and 201.8 billion yuan of investment. Projects are expected to boost both citywide networks and links to other GBA cities including Huizhou, Guangzhou and Dongguan. Southern Metropolis Daily.

Li & Fung’s move: Hong Kong’s Fung family has made a HK$7.2 billion (US$928 million) offer to privatise the 114-year-old global merchandise supply chain manager Li & Fung at a price premium of 150%. SCMP.

HK jumps: Hong Kong’s benchmark index jumped by the most in almost a decade today as it led a broad rally in Asia-Pacific markets, as sentiment improved on steps by global central banks and policymakers to cushion damage by the coronavirus pandemic. SCMP.

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