Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Hong Kong will add artificial island with 1.1 million capacity to tackle housing crisis

Hong Kong Will add artificial island with 1.1 million capacity to tackle housing crisis

The country will add artificial islands to counter a runaway property market that’s made the city the least affordable for housing in the world

The government is aiming to reclaim 1,700 acres (688 hectares) off Lantau Island, stated the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam in a policy address on Wednesday. That compares with the 1,670 acres of extra land that a previous government report estimated the city needed through 2046.

“Finding land is the pressing problem that we need to tackle urgently,” Lam told the city’s legislators. “We must make bold decisions.”

Land reclamation in the notoriously crowded Hong Kong has long been a controversial option to boost the supply of homes due to environmental concerns. However, public outrage over a crisis in housing affordability is encouraging officials to act, even as the property market is showing signs of cooling after years of stratospheric gains.

To mitigate opposition to reclamation, Lam has stated that most of such land will be earmarked for subsidised housing. As many as 1.1 million people could live on the artificial islands, according to her. This is about 15% of Hong Kong’s current population. The first phase of reclamation work would start in 2025, with people being able to move in by 2021, said Lam.

Other measures would include: allocating about 70% of new land to public housing; moving faster to convert so-called brownfields sites, such as deserted rural land in the New Territories, to residential use; and setting up a land sharing pilot program that could turn land held by developers into projects that accommodate both public and private housing.

An almost 15-year bull run in prices prompted UBS Group AG to name Hong Kong as the the city which is most at risk of a housing bubble last month. Still, due to rising mortgage costs—the city’s prime rate was increased for the first time in more than a decade last month.

This has weakened valuations and banks are beginning to trim their property valuations.

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