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Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 21:48
Hysan feels the pinch of protests, economic slowdown
By Luo Weiteng
Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 21:48 By Luo Weiteng

Hysan Development, owner of Hysan Place and Lee Theatre shopping centers in Causeway Bay, said retailers have been hard hit by violent protests against the now-suspended extradition bill in the area which is one of the busiest commercial districts in Hong Kong.

It estimated that sales of some of its shop tenants have dropped an average of more than 10 percent in July as violent clashes between protesters and the police broke out frequently in the Causeway Bay district.

Protests have rocked Hong Kong and given potential visitors reason for concern,” said Irene Lee, chairman of Hysan Development - the biggest landlord in Causeway Bay - on Tuesday. The outlook has remained gloomy.

She predicted sales in the second half year would be affected, while “tenants are adopting a cautious attitude before signing new leases.”

Unnerved by the global economic slowdown and escalating Sino-US trade tensions, Hong Kong’s economy will be facing greater challenges, Lee noted. The crippling impact of the recent civic unrest is making matters worse, with investment and tourism industries among the worst hit in the chaotic situation.

Sales in the second quarter of the year grew by 3 percent, lower than the 5 percent in the three months to March. For the first half of 2019, sales  increased by 4 percent, said Roger Hao, chief financial officer of Hysan Development.

The company posted an 8.9 percent increase in underlying profit to HK$1.39 billion ($177.15 million) for the first six months.

Turnover rose 9.1 percent from a year before to HK$2.09 billion.

Shares of Hysan Development declined 1.07 percent to close at HK$32.45 on Wednesday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 0.08 percent, or 20.98 points, to finish at 25302.28. 


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