HONG KONG, Jan 30 (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.
-- Charles Schwab, one of the world's biggest brokerage houses, is eyeing expansion in China as it seeks to tap growing demand from mainland investors who want to buy foreign securities, according to Lisa Kidd Hunt, executive vice president at International Services & Special Business Development. (bit.ly/1CEFWXF)
-- The year's first dollar debt sold by a mainland China developer comes with a surprisingly low yield given the default fears stalking the market in the wake of Kaisa's troubles. Beijing-based Sino-Ocean Land Holdings announced the issuance of guaranteed notes totalling US$1.2 billion at a low interest rate. (bit.ly/15YBBS6)
-- The number of travellers from East Asian countries coming to Hong Kong has dropped sharply as regional currencies weaken against the US dollar. And because of that Japan, thanks to a weak yen, is fast competing with Hong Kong for tourists, said Paul Leung Yiu-lam of the Hong Kong Inbound Travel Association. (bit.ly/15MJt9r)
-- The Macau government wants all casinos to go smoke-free, rubbing salt in the wound of the territory's already beleaguered gaming industry. It said in an evaluation report that tobacco control at casinos fell short of people's expectations, suggesting all indoor public spaces, including casinos, must go smoke free. (bit.ly/1EsZn7K)
-- The Singapore government-backed GIC Private Ltd sold 1.27 million H shares of Haitong Securities Co Ltd at an average price of HK$17.355 each for HK$22 million ($2.84 million), reducing its stake in the brokerage to 4.98 percent from 5.06, according to a disclosure to the Hong Kong bourse.
For Chinese newspapers, see............... ($1 = 7.7519 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)