Date
16 December 2017
Swire Properties chief executive Martin Cubbon said the protests have had much less impact than the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 financial meltdown. Photo: RTHK
Swire Properties chief executive Martin Cubbon said the protests have had much less impact than the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 financial meltdown. Photo: RTHK

Foreign investors unfazed by Occupy protests: Cubbon

The pro-democracy protests have had very limited impact on foreign investors coming to Hong Kong, according to a top property executive.

Martin Cubbon, chief executive of Swire Properties Ltd., said the Occupy movement may affect the local retail sector in the next six to nine months, but it won’t hold back foreign investors, RTHK reported.

“The incident has much less impact than the Asian financial crisis and 2008 financial crisis, and the city has gone through good times and bad ones,” Cubbon said.

The street occupation would largely affect high-end garments and watch retailers, but Swire, a leading landlord in Hong Kong, has a wide mix of stores in its shopping malls, which would help offset the negative impact, he said.

“Hong Kong remains an attractive place for investors and tourists, and we expect the business environment to improve later next year,” Cubbon was quoted as saying.

Confidence has returned to the local property market, with strong sales of medium-to-high-end units, he said.

Land supply is a key issue. The government is working on increasing the supply, but it may take some time, he added. 

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JZ/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

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