Residents of Hong Kong are swapping their Hong Kong dollars for other currencies as political unrest affects the local currency, the WS-J reports.
Hong Kong’s currency sharply weakened against the USD starting last July, which analysts partly attribute to outflows.
The FT reports Hong Kong’s 10 richest people lost about $15-B since that time. The region’s central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, allows the USD to trade between 7.75 and 7.85 Hong Kong Dollars, and residents are increasingly looking to convert their currency into the more stable American dollar.
Businessman Ming Chung said he abandoned his plans to purchase property in Hong Kong in favor of investing HK$4-M in a USD insurance product.
“It’s a safer investment as opposed to buying property in Hong Kong,” he said. “Because of the protests, I don’t trust the market.”
“It’s very unsettling here,” said a partner at the economic consulting firm the Lantau Group who has been a Hong Kong resident for 12 years. She added she became particularly nervous after seeing videos of police using tear gas on protesters near her office. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know that I don’t want my money trapped here.“