(Nov 8): Hong Kong has long defied predictions it’ll lose its stature as Asia’s top international financial center — but for how much longer?
Proponents of the city say its laws make it the perfect place for China to plug into global markets and note many financial players have deep roots there. Yet by several measures the future isn’t so bright. Hong Kong now handles fewer stock trades than Shanghai. Its wealth management industry is struggling to keep assets as Singapore’s grows. Its taxes are low, but rents are sky high.
Now pro-democracy protests are disrupting daily life, battering the local economy into a recession and angering decision makers in Beijing. A big bank looking to expand would probably see a number of reasons to pick a rival city.