HONG KONG, Sept 4 (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.
- Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting came out fighting on Wednesday after he shocked many with his pessimistic assessment of the pro-democracy movement in an interview. Tai said he was confident that as many as 10,000 people would join the upcoming mass sit-in in Central, a day after he suggested that public support for Occupy was waning. (bit.ly/1nwAImP)
- Hong Kong retained its seventh-place ranking for a second year in the annual Global Competitiveness Index released by the World Economic Forum, with middling scores on education and innovation preventing it from rising higher. (bit.ly/1lADBaw)
- Technology giant Apple is expected to provide a boost to exports from the mainland and Taiwan after the company's newest iPhone is launched next week. The release of iPhone 6 could add 1 percentage point a month to the mainland's export growth for the rest of this year, said a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. (bit.ly/1pKMVtu)
- Hong Kong construction contractor New Concepts opens its retail book on Thursday seeking to raise up to HK$90 million ($11.6 million) in an initial public offering to fund acquisition of machinery and equipment, and for hiring more staff. (bit.ly/1w832Rz)
- Luxury projects Kensington Hill and One South Lane were unveiled in west Hong Kong Island, priced about 10 percent higher than the prevailing market prices in the area. Wheelock Properties priced its first batch of 30 units of Kensington Hill at an average HK$23,572 ($3,041.55) per sellable square foot. (bit.ly/We5RnB)
- Shenguan Holdings, a mainland-based sausage-casing maker, has been accused by short-seller Emerson Analytics of exaggerating revenue and concealing high costs of raw materials. (bit.ly/We6eym)
- Chinese sportswear firm 361 Degrees International Ltd said it has teamed up with Baidu Inc’s Baidu Times to jointly develop digitally enhanced sports products, including children’s “Smart Shoes” equipped with GPS and pedometer functions.
- Headwear products maker Mainland Headwear Holdings Ltd expects orders for its Bangladesh factories to increase early next year as the facilities continue to expand, while wages there are only one-tenth of those in China with ample labour supply, according to deputy chairman Pauline Ngan.
- China Unicom said the China Banking Regulatory Commission has approved its plan to team up with the China Merchants Bank- controlled Wing Lung Bank to jointly develop online financial services on the mainland. The registered capital of the venture will amount to 2 billion yuan ($326 million).
For Chinese newspapers, see............... (1 US dollar = 7.7500 Hong Kong dollar) (1 US dollar = 6.1408 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)