Hong Kong's Hang Seng index hits 13-yr low

by IANS |

Hong Kong, Oct 20 (IANS) Shares in Hong Kong on Thursday slumped to the lowest level since the global financial crisis.

The benchmark Hang Seng index fell by more than 3 per cent to its lowest level since May 2009, before regaining some ground, reports the BBC.

Investors are also concerned about the threat of a global economic slowdown as central banks around the world raise interest rates to tackle rising prices.

One financial expert told the BBC that the "panic selling is ridiculous".

In his first policy address on Wednesday, Hong Kong's new chief executive John Lee announced measures to boost security and plans to attract more overseas talent to the territory.

However, he did not elaborate on economic targets for the city, which has lost ground to rival Asian financial centres like Singapore.

Hong Kong's economy is currently in a technical recession, after seeing two three-month periods in a row of contraction this year, the BBC reported.

Until recently the city had some of the world's toughest Covid-19 rules as it followed China's zero Covid policies.

"The Hang Seng has hit a 13-year low and nothing is really helping the fragile sentiment," the BBC quoted Dickie Wong, executive director of Kingston Securities, as saying.

"There's also a sense that tax rebates are not enough to draw foreigners back to Hong Kong," he added.

Traders were also concerned about the Hong Kong government's "unprecedented silence on key economic indicators", Kelvin Tay, regional chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management said.

However, Tay added that investors were mostly concerned about "the economic outlook (of China) and a rise of Covid cases in the middle of the party congress in Beijing".

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