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Interest grows, but property sales idle

By Crystal Hsu

Major property brokers saw an increase in buying interest this month, but transactions remained low because the market needs more time to digest the new property tax plans, analysts said. “There was obviously an increase in buying interest over the Lunar New Year, but many preferFULL STORY

Larger screens to prompt handset growth: analysts

By Lauly Li

Market researcher GfK Group expects smartphones with displays of up to 5.6 inches to become mainstream this year after a spike in sales of handsets with larger screens last year, as consumers replaced 4-inch and 4.5-inch smartphones. Shipments of 5-inch to 5.6-inch smartphones jumped 150 percentFULL STORY

Eslite Spectrum to open second store in HK

By Amy Su

Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), a subsidiary of the Eslite Group (誠品集團) that focuses on operating department stores, plans to open its second store in Hong Kong early next year as part of the group’s broader overseas expansion plan. The group opened its first bookstore in HongFULL STORY

Taipei No. 4 destination for Lunar New Year: poll

By Amy Su

Agoda.com, one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites, said that Taipei was the fourth-most popular destination for Asian travelers during the Lunar New Year holiday, according to its latest “Travel Smarts” survey. The survey conducted by Agoda Company Pte Ltd, part of the NASDAQ-listed Priceline GroupFULL STORY

Taiwanese willing to work in China at record low: survey

By Crystal Hsu

Nearly 61 percent of Taiwanese jobseekers want to work in China, the lowest figure in six years, as China’s economy slows, an online job bank said in a recent survey. The figure is significantly lower than the 70 percent registered in 2009, as China’s continued economicFULL STORY

New HK measures aim to cool real-estate market

Hong Kong introduced more measures aimed at cooling the property market and protecting financial stability after home prices rose to a record last year. Buyers of properties valued at up to HK$7 million (US$902,672) will have to make larger down payments, while mortgage rules for second-homeFULL STORY

Yuan plunges to two-year low

The yuan dropped to the weakest level in more than two years as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) cut its reference rate by the most in a month. The currency fell as much as 0.18 percent to 6.2699 a dollar in Shanghai, the lowest sinceFULL STORY

Record-high number of Chinese go overseas

They went for the luxurious caress of a French leather handbag (or several), the cathartic splash of a high-tech Japanese toilet’s bidet feature or the perfect selfie-stick pose in front of Bilbo Baggins’ round Hobbit door, tucked into the lush hills of New Zealand. More thanFULL STORY

China takes hard line on taxing foreign investors

Chinese authorities have alarmed foreign investors with a tougher-than-expected plan to tax their share-trading profits, raising fears of an exodus before fund managers take from investors’ holdings to pay the tax bills, sources said. Tax officials in Beijing have proposed a capital gains tax that wouldFULL STORY

Apple preparing for Watch event

The countdown has begun to Apple Inc’s next big thing: the Apple Watch. The company on Thursday sent out invitations to an event on March 9 in San Francisco, where it is expected to unveil details for the release of the Apple Watch, a person withFULL STORY

Samsung taking aim at Qualcomm dominance

Samsung Electronics Co is expected to unveil its next smartphones this weekend, with the focus on whether they can draw customers from Apple Inc. The real question might be whether the phones can pull customers from Qualcomm Inc and Sharp Corp. The Galaxy S devices areFULL STORY

Japan output rises as retail, inflation slow

Japan’s industrial output increased the most in more than three years while retail sales slid and inflation slowed, underscoring strength in export industries and weak domestic demand. Production jumped 4 percent last month from the previous month, exceeding forecasts with the biggest gain since June 2011,FULL STORY

Airbus planning to raise production of single-aisle A320 to 50 per month

Airbus Group NV plans to boost production of its workhorse A320 single-aisle aircraft to 50 per month to meet surging demand for more fuel-efficient airliners. The increase by the first quarter of 2017 from today’s 42 is expected to help airlines get earlier delivery slots forFULL STORY

Record S Korean household debt challenge for BOK

Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol said the “sharp increase” in household debt was one of the reasons the Bank of Korea held interest rates this month, even as central banks from China to Australia loosened policy in response to slowing growth. Data this weekFULL STORY

World Business Quick Take

COMMODITIES Glencore cuts coal output Family-run mining and commodities giant Glencore PLC yesterday said it was reducing its coal production in Australia by 15 million tonnes amid weak global demand and oversupply. It is understood that up to 120 jobs at Glencore’s 13 Australian mines could beFULL STORY

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