Hong Kong Wrap: 22/10/2019

New handouts: Finance Secretary Paul Chan is handing out HK$2 billion of relief measures to the logistics and tourism sectors, saying it will boost GDP growth by 2%. Read more.

How about a buck: Office vacancy rates have jumped from 4% to 7.6% within a few months in the world’s most expensive commercial property market as mainland firms stay away in droves, resulting in some desperate landlords offering deals as low as a token one dollar. Read more.

Foreign meddling: China’s foreign minister says the protests are about “violence, pure and simple” as the central government dials up the anti-foreign sentiment. Read more.

No middle ground: Neither side is showing the courage required to end the protests, writes columnist Tom Plate. Read more.

Judge not: A regional conference for top judges has been put on hold as Hong Kong’s lure for meetings and conventions dims. (Besides, what would they have to discuss?) Read more.

Knife attack: A man has been remanded in custody after turning himself in for the knife attack on a teenager at Tai Po’s Lennon Wall. Read more.

Mob justice? Police say they are investigating the Yuen Long triad attacks, having made 34 arrests. Protesters who showed up in the neighbourhood yesterday say it’s not enough. Roadblocks and tear gas ensued. Read more. 

Surreal estate: To understand how warped Hong Kong’s property market has become, read this explainer of the government’s new policy on relaxed mortgage caps for homes worth over US$1 million. It’s being pitched as a godsend for first-time buyers. Read more.

Cross-Strait conundrum: Taiwan and Hong Kong cannot agree on how to handle the voluntary surrender of the fugitive that sparked the crisis. Read more.

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