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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

Interest on Tax Reserve Certificates

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Government Gazette published today (December 3) contains a Legal Notice to the effect that the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury has authorised a change in the rate of interest payable on Tax Reserve Certificates.

As from December 6, 2004, the new annual rate of interest will be 0.1250( as against the current rate of 0.2500(, that is the new rate will be $0.0104 per month per $100.

Tax Reserve Certificates bear simple interest and interest is calculated monthly (including part of a month) from the date of purchase to the date of payment of tax.

Interest is only credited when certificates are used to pay tax and no interest is due where the principal value of a certificate is repaid to its holder.

The rate of interest payable on Tax Reserve Certificates is periodically revised in line with the market trend. Currently, it is reviewed every month based on the average of the prevailing six-month time deposit interest rates for $100,000 offered by the three note-issuing banks.

The new rate will apply to all certificates purchased on or after December 6, 2004. Certificates which were purchased before December 6, 2004 will continue to earn interest at the rates prevailing on their respective purchase dates. More interest rate information can be found in the Inland Revenue Department website <www.ird.gov.hk>. The public can also obtain a copy of Tax Reserve Certificate Interest Rate Table from our 24-hour information hotline at 1878033. What follows is a summary of the interest rates for the past months:

for certificates purchased on or after
February 2, 2004 and before March 1, 2004,
  0.0150% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
March 1, 2004 and before May 3, 2004,
  0.0100% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
May 3, 2004 and before June 7,2004,
  0.0171% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
June 7, 2004 and before September 6, 2004,
  0.0500% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
September 6, 2004 andbefore October 4, 2004,
  0.1500% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
October 4, 2004 and before December 6, 2004; and
  0.2500% per annum
     
for certificates purchased on or after
December 6, 2004 until further notice.
  0.1250% per annum

This is always subject to the general rule that interest ceases to accrue after 36 complete months.

Ends/Friday, December 3, 2004

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