Hong Kong faces growth challenge in midst of stricter China, US and local economic policies

October 23
10:14 AM 2013

The economy of Hong Kong was reportedly vulnerable to not only to economic policy changes in the US and China, but also economic policy changes at home. In a report by Bloomberg news, Hong Kong would be pressured to keep an average 4.6 economic growth it had successfully maintained for the past decade.

Aside from the US Treasury reducing its bond purchases and China's threatening tree trade zone policy, Hong Kong itself had been facing with a property bubble. Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing had predicted that such crisis would happen in 2009, and started building his business offshore. Li's Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd said in August earnings from sales of properties had fallen to 37% in the first six months from last year. John Swire & Sons Ltd also said in April that home prices in Hong Kong almost peaked after more than doubling since 2009.

The Hong Kong government led by Leung Chun-ying had started imposing measures such as additional taxes on property and stricter requirements on mortgage lending in efforts to maintain its average 4.6% economic growth. Nonetheless, it had not stopped investors to invest elsewhere. The biggest money manager in the world, BlackRock Inc, had been cutting its Hong Kong investments. The private equity firm said worries over underperformance of the city's property markets and equity had forced the company to curtail investments.

BlackRock head of Asian equities Andrew Swan said, "It's no coincidence that large tycoons here are starting to or trying to divest assets."

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