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Property sales dip 27.5%

The Land Registry recorded 3,189 sale and purchase agreements for all building units received for registration in February, down 27.5% compared with January and 46.7% lower year-on-year.   The total consideration for such agreements in February fell 32.9% from January, to $22.6 billion, while a 48.5% year-on-year decrease was recorded.   Of the agreements, 2,375 were for residential units, down 31.7% from January and 44.5% lower than a year ago.   The total consideration for residential units was $19.1 billion, a decrease of 31.3% compared with January and down 47.9% year-on-year.   There were 276,910 land register searches last month. http://dlvr.it/T3ZqYl

HK, Mexico pact to take effect

The Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement (IPPA) between Hong Kong and Mexico will enter into force on June 16.   The agreement with Mexico will enhance investors’ confidence, expand investment flows between Hong Kong and Mexico, and further strengthen bilateral economic and trade ties.   Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said the 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong to foster co-operation and exchanges with countries and regions around the world.   He noted that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been making full use of the city's advantages under the Basic Law and “one country, two systems”, and has signed bilateral agreements, including IPPAs, with foreign economies to explore more opportunities for developing bilateral and multilateral co-operation benefits.   Mr Yau added that the agreement with Mexico is the fourth such agreement that the Hong Kong SAR Government has signed this term.   The other three were signed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, all of which have entered into force.   Taking into account the agreement with Mexico, the total number of IPPAs in force between Hong Kong and foreign economies will increase to 22, covering 31 foreign economies.   Under the agreement with Mexico, the two sides undertake to provide investors of the other side with fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of investments, compensation in the event of expropriation of investments, and the right to free transfers abroad of investments and returns.   The agreement also provides for settlement of investment disputes under internationally accepted rules, including arbitration.
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