Australia will offer safe haven visas to Hong Kong inhabitants as the Chinese territory is devoured by a new surge of protests and arrests over new national security laws enforced by Beijing. The step will make Australia the second of the Five partners to offer Hong Kong residents refuge after United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would open the country's borders to more than three million Hong Kong residents if they wanted to leave the former British colony. Hong Kong is also home to the second largest group of Australian expats in the world, with more than 100,000 living in the semi-autonomous region.
Shares in Kathmandu have soared after the outdoor wear retailer outlined a robust revival in sales since reopening stores in May after coronavirus restrictions were eased in Australia and New Zealand. It anticipates full-year earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization to dip but remain over $70 million, reflecting the blow of the coronavirus shutdowns. The company had reported EBITDA of $99.6 million in FY19. Shares in the company rose more than 12 per cent. By 1245 AEST, Kathmandu shares were up 11.2 per cent to $1.20 each in the Australian market.
Housing Industry Association or HIA highlighted that the building approvals in May dropped by 16.4% as the COVID-19 restrictions hindered the flow of new building projects to be undertaken. As per the data provided by ABS, the decline was due to private sector dwellings excluding houses which tumbled by 34.9%, seasonally adjusted. The number of dwellings approved in apartment building dropped significantly to an 11-year low. HIA believes that the decline in approvals in May is just the beginning of the COVID-19 shock in home building. HIA expects building approvals data to decline for months due to delay in the approval process.
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