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When there’s an acute shortage, it may not even be money that matters.

Robbers love money, usually. If they were caught, the punishment (jail sentence) will be similar whether they rob a major bank branch in the city centre or a small bank branch in a village. If the robber were to do some estimation, perhaps the amount of money stored in that major bank branch may be more than the one in village. The reason is because of the number of customers which in turn meant that more customers will demand service from the major bank branch. There will be fewer customers in the small bank branch in the village.

What if the target for the robber is NOT money then? Well, this robbery happened in a major financial centre of the world; Hong Kong. It’s also where people were rushing to buy an essential good when they use the toilet. No idea if the robber will be using these themselves or to sell it to some third party for high profits?

Article in According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), an armed gang has taken away more than HK$1,000 (RM533) worth of toilet rolls/paper outside a Hong Kong supermarket this morning. One reason may be because essential goods such as toilet paper have become precious following persistent panic buying at supermarkets as news of rising COVID-19 infections and deaths in mainland China. SCMP reported that three masked men grabbed 600 rolls in 50 packets from a delivery man outside a Wellcome store in Mong Kok at around 6am.

Reports say that Hong Kong currently has 57 confirmed cases of infection, with one death. Beyond just toilet paper, people also love to buy other ‘staples’ such as rice and pasta as well as hand sanitisers, masks and cleaning items. An AFP report says that because supermarkets are struggling to restock quickly, “leading to sometimes lengthy queues and shelves stripped bare within moments of opening.” Please do refer to the full Article in

Yesterday, my wife bought ONE pack of toilet paper. Oh dear, just ONE pack. It should last our family a couple of weeks. Anyway, I think it’s super important to note that panic buying does not help the situation other than to make even more people panic and start to stock up goods. As for toilet papers, well, I am not so sure why the robbers were tempted to carry out the heist other than to resell it for a much higher price? It most definitely will not be because the whole group of robbers were all rushing for the toilet… Happy understanding that when there’s a shortage, even money may not matter that much versus essential goods including toilet papers.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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