Police apprehend 29 unlicensed taxi drivers in Golden Week

During the first four days of National Day Golden Week, local police nabbed 29 unlicensed taxi drivers, of which 26 were related to car-hailing application Uber, according to official data released by the Public Security Police Force (PSP).
The police said it also prosecuted 96 cases of taxi drivers overcharging and rejecting passengers, which accounted for 86.5 per cent of total taxi violations during the four days.
Last month, the two aforementioned types of taxi violation totalled 193 cases, or 77.8 per cent of total taxi violations detected by local police. In addition, the number of prosecuted cases of unlicensed taxi services reached 127 in September, of which 113 were related to the use of Uber.
Local police noted in its press release that the high number of violations for the first four days of the holiday was due to its enhanced combat of illegal taxi services given the increase of tourists in the period.

Tigerair Taiwan to increase flights to MSAR

Low-cost carrier Tigerair Taiwan - a joint venture between Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) and Singapore’s Tiger Airways – is planning to increase its flights to Macau next year, according to an announcement on its official website. The same announcement indicated that it would cease its current flights connecting Taipei to Singapore and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia from January 3 next year. ‘In its place, it will add more frequencies to Macau, Okinawa and Tokyo . . . providing more services to consumers,’ it wrote.
The airline added that affected passengers would get a full refund in one month.

Zhuhai imposes new home purchase restrictions

Zhuhai has imposed new measures restricting the purchase of residential properties, its government announced early yesterday morning.
Accordingly, three categories of potential buyer would be temporarily prohibited from purchasing residential units of 144 square metres or less in the Chinese city.
The restrictions are applied to Zhuhai citizens who own three or more properties in the city; non-Zhuhai citizens who possess one or more properties there; as well as those non-Zhuhai citizens who cannot prove they have paid income tax or contributed to social insurance for one year.
The new restrictions also increase the minimum down payment that home buyers need to pay – now no less than 30 per cent of the total cost.
Zhuhai is the fourteenth Mainland Chinese city to impose home-purchasing restrictions during the National Day Golden Week, following Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

SJM announces holiday compensation for personnel

Local gaming operator Sociedade de Jogos de Macau S.A. (SJM) announced on Wednesday that it would compensate its personnel with a one-day holiday from 2017 when their weekly days off overlap a mandatory holiday. According to the announcement, the new holiday policy would apply to workers serving on the frontline and support operations. Angela Leong, the company’s executive director, claimed in the announcement that the new measure seeks to improve the company’s work environment and employee benefits.

Central Steel license abolished

The Court of Final Appeal last week turned down an appeal from Central Steel (Macao Commercial Offshore) Ltd (CSM) attempting to overturn the government’s abolition of its license. CSM is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed company – China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Ltd (CMR). The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong discovered that CMR had been falsifying the majority of its annual revenue figures and official documents from 2007 to 2012. In the meantime, CSM was penalised by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute for the late submission of its annual audited financial report, despite the fact that the company had been granted extended time for the submission.
Moreover, CSM was not able to submit its financial statements during its appeal at the Court of Final Appeal, as required by the offshore business law.

Chinese budget hotel chain enters local market

Mainland Chinese budget hotel chain operator Jinjiang International Hotel (Holdings) Co Ltd. has signed a franchise agreement with local firms to launch its first budget hotel, Jinjiang Inn in Macau, Mainland Chinese newspaper Beijing Business Today reported. The news report stated that the company’s new hotel project in the city will be worth HK$430 million (US$53.5 million). The property, occupying 450 square metres, will include 21 floors and two basement levels, and will provide a total of 144 hotel rooms. The construction of the project began in late 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Popular Pharmacy confirmed tenant

The ‘Popular Pharmacy’ (Farmacia Popular) is going to be the tenant of the ‘white house’ at a monthly rent of MOP700,000 (US$87,621) once the First Public Notary Office moves out of the premises by the end of the year, according to local newspaper Macao Daily News. António José de Freitas, President of the Holy House of Mercy (Santa Casa da Misericordia), said there were six companies interested in renting the organisation’s property in Senado Square, offering monthly rents as high as MOP1.2 million, but considering the cultural and historical value of the building, the board of the organization decided to choose the pharmacy as the new tenant. The design work is going to be carried out by local architect Carlos Marreiros and the new place is expected to be put into use next April.

E-service for Social Security Fund

The Executive Council has finished discussing the draft on Electronic Declarations for Social Security Funds, according to a statement issued by the council last Friday. The service is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year so that employers can file relevant forms online and make contributions through e-banking. The draft states that all materials can be optionally submitted online and the electronic files will have the same legal effect as the paper-based documents. The draft is expected to come into effect on 1 November 2016.