Hong Kong protesters meet, bank warns of economic fallout

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A major bank has been warned on Wednesday that weeks of protests in Hong Kong could hit the economies of the Chinese-ruled city and mainland China.

Demonstrators began to gather for a sit-in at the subway site of a mid-summer mob attack. Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA) posted a 75% slump in first-half net profit after it wrote down loans in China because of a downturn in commercial property markets outside China’s top cities.

It also warned that social unrest in Hong Kong and a trade dispute between China and the United States could affect the economies of China and the former British colony.

“The tense atmosphere (in Hong Kong) is likely to weigh on consumer and business confidence, and on in-bound tourism, if there is no resolution soon,” it said in a statement.

Some Hong Kong companies have been dragged into controversy after 11 weeks of sometimes violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters, angered by a perceived erosion of freedoms.

 

Zainab Sa’id