Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded Hong Kong’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to “AA” from “AA+” following months of unrest and protests in the Asian financial hub, Reuters reports.
Hong Kong’s rating outlook is negative, Fitch Ratings said in a statement, indicating the possibility for further declines.
The massive, and sometimes violent protests have roiled the financial center as thousands chafe at a perceived erosion of freedoms and autonomy under Chinese rule.
Fitch said it expects the “one country, two systems” framework to remain intact, but added that public discontent is likely to persist despite recent concessions to certain demands by protesters.
The rating downgrade comes as the city braces for more demonstrations this weekend, with protesters threatening to disrupt transport links to the airport. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s formal withdrawal of the extradition bill on Wednesday has failed to appease some activists.
The rating agency said it expects Hong Kong’s financial buffers to remain intact, although it anticipates that the region’s revenue will underperform budget forecast.
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