HONG KONG, Aug 23 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
-- Sinotrans Ltd, the mainland's largest freight forwarding company, said the shipping market has started to rebound in the second quarter and is expected to carry on in the third quarter, but it is too early to predict an upturn in freight rates. ()
-- Wumart Stores Inc, a leading supermarket chain on the mainland, plans to enhance its fresh-food operation and expand to cities in eastern China to compete against bigger rivals such as United States giant Wal-Mart Stores and Sun Art Retail's RT-Mart. ()
-- Luxury-hotel operator Shangri-La Asia Ltd's 32 hotels on the mainland were hit by government austerity measures and a deceleration in the economy, a trend that management said was likely to continue into the second half. ()
-- China Resources Enterprise Ltd's bid for Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's supermarket chain ParknShop is seen to be the highest among the eight bidders, sources close to the deal said, adding CRE's bidding price is still below Li's ideal price of $4 billion.
-- Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group spokesperson said it has not yet decided where it will list its shares and has not applied for any listing application, adding that the group has not appointed underwriters for the initial public offering.
-- Henderson Land Development Co Ltd said 900,000 square feet, or one-third, of its Northeast New Territories farmlands are eligible for exchange under the government's development plan. That would allow the developer to build homes there after paying a premium. ()
-- Hong Kong-based cosmetics retailer Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd chairman Simon Kwok forecast a stable retail market in the next six months with mainland tourists not reducing their spending. ()
-- Shenzhen International Holdings Ltd's president Li Jingqi said the logistics park and toll-road operator will partner with New World Development Co Ltd and the Wharf Holdings Ltd to launch projects in Shenzhen's Qianhai special economic zone.
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