BRIEFS: Inflation over 4 pct in January

Macau’s Composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January went up by 4.75 percent compared with the same period  last year, according to figures released yesterday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). In comparison to January 2014, a notable increase was observed in the price index of Housing & Fuels (+11.64 pct), while the prices of Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Health rose by 5.41 pct and 5.26 pct respectively.

Smaller public purse

Local administration is facing a revenue decrease due to the slump in the gaming industry. In January, the government’s revenue fell 27.5 percent year-on-year to MOP10.5 million. Last month, gaming operators paid less than 29.7 percent in direct taxes over gambling compared with January 2014. The Finance Services Bureau (DSF) indicates that the administration spent MOP2.1 million during January, more than 16.8 percent y-o-y. The spending increase is related to the 6 percent salary increase for civil servants.

Echo Chan to head Forum Macau’s Secretariat

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, has appointed Echo Chan, currently serving as director of the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), coordinator of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries’ (Forum Macau) Secretariat, replacing Rita Santos. The Times reported in January that Rita Santos had expressed her intention to retire and that Echo Chan was likely to replace her. Ms Chan will take office on March 4, according to a note published in the government’s Official Gazette (BO) on Wednesday. Furthermore, the Secretary recalled that the appointment takes into consideration her “professional abilities and suitability” for this particular position. Chan, who holds a degree in Economy from the University of Jinan, has been working as a public servant since 1992, when she joined IPIM’s administrative council. She will still be linked to IPIM, performing non-executive duties, when she takes office at Forum Macau.

Police warn residents against FB scam

The Judiciary Police has revealed the reception of several reports from residents claiming that their credit cards had been stolen to make purchases after they provided personal information, including their credit card numbers, to “verify” their Facebook account. It is alleged that some residents received a message on Facebook claiming that their account would be suspended within an hour if they did not verify it. They were then asked to provide a number of points of personal information. The authorities are asking residents to be vigilant on this issue.

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