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Travel to Hong Kong Up; Hong Kong to Adjust Currency

May 18, 2005

Travel to Hong Kong Up; Hong Kong to Adjust Currency
May 18, 2005 – Airport Authority Hong Kong reports that the number of passengers traveling through Hong Kong International Airport in April was up 7.5 percent from last year, reaching 3,327,000.

The increase could be attributed partly to the overflow of the Easter and Chingming holiday in early April, Heidi Kwan, chief communication officer at Airport Authority Hong Kong said.

Air cargo throughput also increased nearly 15 percent to reach 285,000 tons compared to the year-earlier period as a result of the growth of demand from the United States and European markets. Air traffic movement also showed a healthy growth of 7.5 percent.

On another note, Hong Kong said Wednesday that it would adjust its 21-year-old currency peg, a move aimed at reducing the Hong Kong dollar from being used as a proxy for speculation on the Chinese yuan.

The government would set a trading band on the Hong Kong dollar, with a range of 7.75 to 7.85 dollars to $1, Joseph Yam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, told reporters.

The agency plans to change the weaker side of the currency to 7.85 from 7.8 every Monday starting from May 23 through June 20.

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