September 18, 2014 / 2:21 AM / 3 years ago

PRESS DIGEST-Hong Kong - Sept 18

HONG KONG, Sept 18 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

-- Plans for seven new rail projects costing an estimated HK$110 billion ($14.2 billion) have been unveiled by the Hong Kong government. A blueprint released by the Transport and Housing Bureau proposes four new lines, extra stations, and extensions to the MTR's Tung Chung and West Rail lines. (bit.ly/1uIx7aj)

-- MTR Corp and its consortium partners have won a A$3.7 billion ($3.3 billion) contract to deliver and operate Sydney's North West Rail Link, Australia's largest public transport project, worth A$8.3 billion in total. (bit.ly/1uIxG3T)

-- Rising global demand for diamonds, led by China and India, is expected to outpace growth in supply over the coming years, according to the industry's dominant force, De Beers. (bit.ly/1yi2yNt)

-- Average rents at 50 major housing estates in Hong Kong hit a record high last month, research by Ricacorp Properties shows. The average rent at 50 estates rose 2.1 percent month on month to HK$26.99 per square foot of gross floor area in August, eclipsing the previous record of HK$26.43 per square foot set in July. (bit.ly/1tiDhhX)

THE STANDARD

-- Visitors to Japan can enjoy tax-free shopping for confectionary, cosmetics and health goods starting next month. Coupled with a weaker yen, travel agents expect the move to entice more Hongkongers to visit Japan. (bit.ly/ZqE5Gq)

-- More than 25 percent of professionals interviewed in Hong Kong are depressed in the office, and an expert in social sciences has blamed overwork. A study commissioned by the Joyful Foundation reveals that depression at work is even higher at the grassroots level, including cleaners, hawkers and garbage collectors. (bit.ly/1pk3M0n)

-- Xiamen-based mobile and web game developer Feiyu Technology International aims to raise up to HK$1.5 billion ($193.5 million) in a Hong Kong initial public offering by the end of this year, market sources said. (bit.ly/1p1QC8U)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

-- Qunxing Paper Holdings Co Ltd, whose shares have been suspended from trading since December, said its unit Shandong Qunxing Paper Ltd had estimated assets of 4 billion yuan, while liabilities amounted to 5 billion yuan. Also, up to 20 legal proceedings had been initiated against Shandong Qunxing in China.

HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES

-- Chinese sportswear company Xtep International Holdings Ltd said it had no business relationship with Ultrasonic, a Germany-listed Chinese shoemaker which reported the disappearance of its top executives. Another sports brand ANTA Sports Products Ltd said Ultrasonic was not its supplier for five years.

MING PAO DAILY NEWS

-- Hutchison Whampoa’s retail arm, The AS Watson Group, has set up a digital team eLab to further boost its business, aiming to generate 5 percent of its revenue from online sales within 18 months.

For Chinese newspapers, see............... (1 US dollar = 7.7510 Hong Kong dollar) (1 US dollar = 1.1158 Australian dollar) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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