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Friday, October 25, 2019, 23:35
'No noticeable capital outflow' from SAR despite unrest
By Dai Kaiyi
Friday, October 25, 2019, 23:35 By Dai Kaiyi

Hong Kong hasn’t seen any perceptible capital outflow lately despite growing inquiries about creating offshore accounts, according to a HKSAR government official.

As an Asian financial hub with abundant investment opportunities, Hong Kong does not easily get "ditched" by its citizens, said Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Lau Yee-cheung, adding that both inflow and capital outflow has been pretty much the same as in previous months.

As an Asian financial hub with abundant investment opportunities, Hong Kong does not easily get "ditched" by its citizens

James Lau Yee-cheung, Secretary for Financial Services

Ravi Menon — managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore — had said earlier Singapore hasn’t noticed funds pouring into the city-state from Hong Kong despite the prolonged social unrest in the SAR that may have prompted some investors to look for an exit.

At the same time, Lau said there's tremendous potential for collaboration between Hong Kong and other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as the merging of traditional finance and fintech would further boost Hong Kong’s edge on a global scale.

He also expects some of the virtual banks that have been granted licenses in Hong Kong to kick-start their operations by the end of the year, such as extending loans and offering wealth management products. The move is likely to exert pressure on the 160 traditional banks in the city.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has so far issued eight virtual banking licenses.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong dollar, pegged to the greenback, has been stable at around 7.84 to the US currency, hovering at the weak end of its trading band despite uncertainties at home and abroad. Lau said this shows the HKMA has adequate reserves to purchase Hong Kong dollars sold by banks.


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