CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. (00001.HK) chairman Li Ka-shing foresees the worst economy in two decades in Hong Kong this year as businesses in various sectors struggle, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.
The property and retail markets are doing worse than during the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, which was only a short-term hit, he said.
Now many businesses are losing money, the property tycoon said.
Nonetheless, Li cast doubt over the recent downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service of Hong Kong’s economic outlook to “negative”.
Given the government’s prudent fiscal position, rich financial reserves and decent tax incomes, Moody’s should review its decision, he said.
If Hong Kong loses the support of mainland China, it may lead to a plunge in the benchmark Hang Seng Index of at least 50 percent, Li said.
He said that although property transactions in Hong Kong have slowed down, developers are unlikely to slash prices in the face of high construction costs.
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