Date
20 October 2017
Citibank says any Occupy Central-induced disruptions to Hong Kong's economy are likely to be short-lived. Photo: Leung Ching Yau Alex/Flickr
Citibank says any Occupy Central-induced disruptions to Hong Kong's economy are likely to be short-lived. Photo: Leung Ching Yau Alex/Flickr

Occupy Central disruptions to be ‘short-lived’

The civil disobedience campaign Occupy Central is expected to cause only short-lived disruptions to the Hong Kong economy, Apple Daily reported Tuesday, citing a Citibank research report.

It’s becoming increasingly likely that the campaign will get under way in August, when the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will respond to a report on political reform in Hong Kong, the investment bank said.

Business operations in the financial district will be briefly upended if tens of thousands protestors paralyze traffic in Central and police take a day to clear the gathering, it said.

Meanwhile, the city’s currency is expected to gain further strength as investors hoard capital on concerns of market disruptions, but this too will be short-lived, according to the report.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has injected capital to the interbank market 10 times since July 1 to defend the US dollar peg, and it could continue to do so if Occupy Central causes market fluctuations, the report said.

Political tensions between the mainland and Hong Kong will continue over the longer term and overseas investors may fear higher operating risks in Hong Kong, it said.

Adrienne Lui, vice president of Citibank’s research unit, was quoted as saying that the possibility of a worst-case scenario, like foreign capital divestment, is rather low.

Lui added that Citibank is still projecting 3.2 percent growth for Hong Kong’s economy this year.

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