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Hong Kong may unveil more property cooling moves

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's government is expected to unveil further measures to cool its red-hot real estate market, local media reported on Friday, Nov 19, pushing property-related stocks lower.

The government would release the measures as early as Friday, a day after the International Monetary Fund urged Hong Kong to draw up more policies to curb fast-climbing prices, the Hong Kong Economic Journal quoted sources as saying.

The report did not provide details of what the steps might include, but some analysts have said the government could raise the stamp duty on sales of some apartments.

Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang is holding a news conference at 0830 GMT and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan will also speak to reporters at 0930 GMT. The government declined comment on what topics will be discussed.

The property subindex on Hong Kong's stock market was down more than 2%, but erased some losses to trade 1.1% lower by 0654 GMT, underperforming the broader Hang Seng index, which was flat.

Housing prices have risen around 50% since the beginning of last year due to brisk buying by mainland Chinese and low mortgage rates as the Chinese territory tracks US monetary policy because of the local currency's peg to the US dollar.

The authorities have already unveiled a number of policies this year aimed at curbing a property market bubble in the territory.

In October, the government announced it was restricting immigration based on property investments and pledged to provide land for 20,000 private residential units annually over the next 10 years. — Reuters
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