HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
-- Beijing's top official on Hong Kong affairs has acknowledged for the first time that the city's capacity for mainland tourists is a matter of concern for the central government. (link.reuters.com/mar47v)
-- Democracy in Hong Kong would give a "healthy" status boost to the business community, says Li Ka-shing, but only if people are open-minded. The Cheung Kong chairman gave a rare insight into his political views in an interview with mainland media company Caixin.com. (link.reuters.com/gar47v)
-- Rent on high-end flats in Hong Kong remains more expensive than in any other city worldwide - double the level of Singapore - despite a slight fall in the past year, according to a survey by human resources consultancy ECA International. (link.reuters.com/har47v)
-- Two of five affluent local investors own overseas properties, particularly in the mainland, Singapore and the United States, a survey by HSBC finds. Among their Asian peers, Hongkongers are also among the keenest to invest elsewhere. (link.reuters.com/par47v)
-- Casino operator SJM Holdings announced plans to build the world's first luxury hotel fully designed by Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld in its new casino resort in Macau. The Karl Lagerfeld Hotel will be opened in 2017. (link.reuters.com/qar47v)
-- The 11 percent increase in tobacco tax in the city's budget is too low to push smokers to quit and deter youngsters from starting, the head of the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health said. Chairwoman Lisa Lau Man-man said this year's tax rise was far lower than the 40 percent in 2009 and 2011. (link.reuters.com/var47v)
-- China home grown smartphone maker Xiaomi, which launched its first mobile handset in the mainland three years ago, expects its smartphone sales to reach 100 billion yuan ($16.34 billion) in 2015 and the company has no plan to seek a listing in the next five years, according to founder Lei Jun.
-- With a slogan “World Class, Asia Heart”, casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd aims to expand beyond Asia, according to Deputy Chairman Francis Lui.
-- Developers of four new residential projects in the city have submitted applications in February for pre-sales of flats, involving a total of 943 units, the highest in three months, according to the Lands Department in Hong Kong.
For Chinese newspapers, see............... ($1 = 6.1185 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)