Hong Kong’s consumer inflation rate stood at 4.4 percent in September, its highest level since March 2015, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department. The rate was more than double the 1.9 percent measured in August. Hong Kong government officials said that COVID-19 relief measures accounted for some of the increase. It noted that import prices were expected to rise amid high inflation in many major economies, but added that mild domestic cost pressures should keep overall near-term inflation at moderate levels.
The value of the Hong Kong Co-Investment Fund that Chief Executive John Lee announced in his 2022 Policy Address – part of a plan to attract international businesses to Hong Kong. Financial Secretary Paul Chan FCPA later set out how companies looking to tap into the fund would be evaluated on capital investment, jobs created, potential return on investment and relevancy to Hong Kong’s development goals.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell below 15,000 points on 25 October, its lowest level since April 2009. The stocks of Chinese Internet giants Alibaba, JD.com, Baidu and Tencent all fell by more than 10 percent on the day, with some analysts citing Mainland China’s continued strict COVID-19 related policies. Mainland property and insurance companies also experienced double-digit percentage falls.
Israel + China
The two EY affiliates that have so far, as of 25 October, rejected the plan of the firm’s global leadership to separate its auditing and consulting businesses across the world. EY Israel’s managing partner said the split of the units would not create benefits for his firm. Earlier, EY China had cited differences in market and regulatory environment as its reason. EY said that splitting off its global advisory businesses would free its consultants from potential conflicts of interest, which currently prevent them from consulting for audit clients.
The percentage of large companies that are considering relocation or have already left Hong Kong, according to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, 10 percent of those companies surveyed said they had already permanently relocated. The chamber urged the government to further ease COVID-19 related travel restrictions, which are often cited by companies as a reason why they are moving.
The percentage of wealthy investors in Hong Kong and Singapore that are invested in digital assets including cryptocurrencies, according to a survey of 30 family offices and high-net-worth individuals conducted by KPMG. Of those respondents that do hold digital assets, 100 percent held bitcoin, while 60 percent had NFTs and other metaverse tokens.
The amount that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States fined Deloitte’s Chinese affiliate for issues related to the 2018 audits of 12 U.S.-listed Mainland companies. The SEC said that the firm “fell woefully short of professional auditing requirements” by asking clients to select their own audit samples and prepare their own workpapers. The firm self-reported the issue to regulators and agreed to remedial measures.
The number of G20 nations that cut their 2021 carbon emissions fast enough to limit future global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (what is often cited by scientists as the warming limit to maintain a safe climate), according to PwC’s Net Zero Economy Index 2022. The firm stated that a global decarbonization rate of 12.9 percent would be required to avoid passing the limit. According to PwC’s study, the decarbonization rate of G20 countries in 2021 averaged 0.2 percent, worse than the global average of 0.5 percent.
How companies in the U.S. could potentially measure their cryptocurrency holdings in the future, after a tentative recommendation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. While not yet official guidance, it signals a significant step for companies that have been pushing for their digital assets to be reflected on their balance sheets at fair value according to market prices, rather than as intangible assets at their lowest value during a reporting period. Earlier in April, the International Accounting Standards Board had voted against starting a similar project, stating that cryptocurrencies are not being commonly used by most of the 140 jurisdictions that use International Financial Reporting Standards.