Uncertainties, tycoons and their assets. Preservation is the key.

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I have seen many videos about the current situation in Hong Kong. The latest one shows its Chief Executive Carrie Lam explaining the situation via TVB. Do click take a look at it here, together with the images of Hong Kong protesters who disagreed with the extradition legislation which is in the process of becoming a law. The situation has gradually gotten more serious since 9th June when the mass protest started. Here’s An article about Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam here. When there is uncertainty, capital flight happens. Fortunately, as long as it’s temporary, the stock market soon recovers and economy continues moving again. There are reports that some Hong Kong tycoons have started moving their personal wealth offshore.

Article in thestar.com.my The article got their information from financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with such transactions. One tycoon who considers himself potentially politically exposed, has started shifting more than $100 million from a local Citibank account to a Citibank account in Singapore. “It’s started. We’re hearing others are doing it, too, but no-one is going to go on parade that they are leaving,” the adviser said. “The fear is that the bar is coming right down on Beijing’s ability to get your assets in Hong Kong. Singapore is the favoured destination.”

Professor Simon Young, of the University of Hong Kong’s law school, told Reuters that if the bill becomes law, it will be possible for mainland Chinese courts to request Hong Kong courts to freeze and confiscate assets related to crimes committed on the mainland. He said, “This has been largely overlooked in the public debate but it is really a significant part of the proposed amendments.” The head of the private banking operations of an international bank in Hong Kong, who declined to be named, said clients have been moving money out of Hong Kong to Singapore. “These aren’t mainland Chinese clients who might be politically exposed, but wealthy Hong Kong clients.”

Prominent commercial lawyer Kevin Yam said he was aware of high net-worth Hong Kong figures taking steps to move assets to Singapore as they matured or market conditions proved favourable. “At this point I would say it is a steady trickle rather than stampede but is most definitely happening.” It’s a much more comprehensively written article. Do refer here for the Article in thestar.com.my

I do not think the tycoons will be abandoning Hong Kong altogether and move all their assets overseas. Definitely not due to this new potential legislation alone. I personally think Hong Kong is a very attractive investment capital because with Hong Kong, one has access to China too. I see the property market of Hong Kong being a beacon for all the other property markets here in Asia too. In fact a vibrant property market of Hong Kong will mean even more investments into property markets here in South East Asia too. From the bottom of my heart, I hope this saga comes to an end sooner rather than later. Hopefully everyone looks at Hong Kong’s future and acts responsibly. Happy following.

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<Featured Image is courtesy of Stock Photos from leungchopan>

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