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Apr exports value up 1.1%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Accounting reform gazetted

The Financial Reporting Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 was gazetted today to further develop the Financial Reporting Council into a full-fledged independent regulatory body for the accounting profession.   Under the proposed regime, regulatory powers vested with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants will be transferred to the Financial Reporting Council, including issue of practising certificates, registration of practice units and local public interest entities auditors, inspection, investigation and discipline over practice units as well as investigation and discipline over certified public accountants.   In transferring these regulatory powers to the council, the scope of the powers and the types and levels of relevant sanctions will follow the regime currently implemented by the institute.   The institute will continue to discharge functions including ascertaining qualification for registration as certified public accountants by conducting examinations, registering certified public accountants, setting standards on professional ethics, accounting, auditing and assurance as well as setting requirements for continuing professional development. These functions will be under the council's oversight.   Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui said the bill seeks to further enhance the independence of the regulatory regime of the accounting profession in line with international developments with increased coherence and efficiency.   “The principle of proportionality will be adopted in the Financial Reporting Council's future exercises of its proposed regulatory functions over the accounting profession that is different when compared to the existing regulation over public interest entities auditors.   “For all the regulatees to be newly handled by the council including small and medium practices which do not work on public interest entities engagements under the proposed new regime, the regulatory scope and requirements applicable to them will remain comparable to those currently provided in the Professional Accountants Ordinance.”   The Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs was briefed on the proposed reform on July 5. The bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for the first reading on July 21.
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Railway settlement exceeds limit

The construction works of a relocation project in Kowloon have been suspended after a settlement monitoring checkpoint exceeded the limit, the Government said today.   The project relocates supporting operational facilities of Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station Complex, Fire Services Club and other fire services accommodations to To Wah Road in Kowloon.   The Government explained that the readings recorded in a settlement monitoring checkpoint installed inside the railway tunnel between Kowloon Station and Olympic Station of the MTR Tung Chung Line had reached 20.27mm on September 7. The preset trigger level for works suspension is 20mm.   For the sake of prudence, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation suspended relevant works within the railway protection area on the same day.   The Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department deployed staff to inspect the affected railway tunnel and confirmed that it is structurally safe.   The Electrical & Mechanical Services