Private bankers are being flooded by inquiries from worried investors who are growing concerned over the long term effects of the political crisis in the city.
The Hong Kong government had announced several weeks ago that it has shelved the controversial law that kicked-off the civil unrest.
As a result of said civil unrest, a new tier of wealthy investors are setting up ways to move their money out of the former British colony more quickly, bankers and wealth managers said. A major Asian wealth manager said it has received a large flow of new money in Singapore from Hong Kong over the recent weeks, however requesting not to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the issue.
A Hong Kong private banker has said that the majority of the new queries he receives does not come from the super-wealthy, who more often than not already have alternative locations ready to receive their money. Rather, the queries stem from high net worth individuals with assets valued in the US$10 – $20 million range.
“Even for those who think the protests will blow over, will die down, their conversations have become: change is coming, how are we planning?” said Clifford Ng, a managing partner at the Zhong Lun Law Firm in Hong Kong who specialises in advising rich clients on cross-border transactions and investments.
The fight against the extradition bill reinforced concerns among Hong Kong investors as well as democracy advocates that the Beijing-backed Carrie administration are slowly tearing down the walls separating Hong Kong’s judicial system and the mainland’s.
The recent demonstrations are the latest trigger in a long process of Chinese money flowing to Singapore, London, New York and other centres outside Beijing’s reach.