A sign of a branch of the Silicon Valley Bank is pictured at an office building where the bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany, March 13, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
At least a dozen Hong Kong-listed companies could be affected by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the United States on Friday. Despite assurances from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and affected companies about the repercussions being manageable, the local monetary authority is keeping a close watch on developments.
More than 13 firms listed in Hong Kong had deposits worth $194.03 million in the bank, with the sums deposited ranging from $400,000 to $175.5 million.
The HKMA moved to assure depositors that Hong Kong’s banking system is securely protected from any possible SVB fallout
Beijing-headquartered biotech firm BeiGene had about $175 million in deposits which were uninsured and comprised about 13 percent of its cash holdings.
Most of the affected Hong Kong-listed companies specialize in biotechnology. A number of them issued statements that their assets held in the bank account for no more than 10 percent of total assets and therefore the consequences wouldn’t be significant. Some of them also stated that measures had been taken to rein in potential exposure.
Broncus Holding, a medical device-making company, had approximately $11.8 million on deposit at SVB or 6.5 percent of its cash reserves. The company said it is actively working towards preserving and recovering its deposits at SVB, adding the exposure is “immaterial” and the odds of its operations being disrupted are slim.
CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc said the amount of its cash deposited with SVB is “immaterial and is generally within the amount guaranteed by the FDIC accordingly”.
The HKMA moved to assure depositors that Hong Kong’s banking system is securely protected from any possible SVB fallout. Acknowledging the actions taken by overseas regulators against banks, HKMA pledged to keep an eye out for any further developments.
It said on Monday that SVB was not authorized to carry out banking operations or deposit-taking businesses in Hong Kong.
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