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Capital Calls: HK financial standing under threat

Concise insights on global finance.

5/4/2021 6:47:00 AM

Hong Kong’s financiers and politicians should be worried by the population’s lack of enthusiasm for vaccinations, says JennHughes13 in Capital Calls:

Concise insights on global finance.

INJECTING REALITY. Hong Kong’s financiers and politicians should be worried by the population’s lack of enthusiasm for vaccinations. Eddie Yue, head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority,warnedon Monday that low inoculation rates could cause the Chinese special administrative region to be left out of international travel bubbles, making it a less appealing base for multinationals. Yue pointed to arch-rival Singapore, where 24% of people have had at least one dose, and the UK, where almost as many are fully vaccinated. Just 13% have had one shot in Hong Kong.

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Other factors further dim the city’s appeal. A mandatory three-week hotel quarantine for non-Chinese visitors is expensive. A new law allows authorities to prevent people from leaving, which might impact commercial disputes. Hong Kong’s airport, typically busier than Singapore’s, is welcoming less than half as many visitors; travellers were down 98% year-on-year in the first quarter. Officials say their crackdown on dissent via the national security law

is misunderstood. The list of reasons for executives to avoid Hong Kong is lengthening nevertheless. (By Jennifer Hughes) Read more: ReutersBreakingviews »

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