After reports from local media claimed that SBI Holdings Inc, a giant online brokerage in Japan, is thinking about leaving Hong Kong, a spokesman has confirmed that the reports are, in fact, true.
According to a report from Reuters, the spokesman confirmed that SBI Holdings would be retreating from Hong Kong, which has faced months of unrest even before the coronavirus pandemic and recently has been made unstable following China imposing a new security law.
“It’s true we are considering retreating from Hong Kong or downsizing our business there,” the spokesman told the news outlet, adding that the company believes that Hong Kong, a global financial centre and one of Asia’s leading financial markets, may fall.
Hong Kong Struggles with Numerous Issues
The fall of Hong Kong as a global financial centre can be attributed to a number of issues: the new security law, months of unrest and protests, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all caused a strain on the region’s economy and financial market.
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In Hong Kong, SBI Holdings operates a securities business. The financial services company also controls a research and development company that specialises in the development of medical supplies.
The withdrawal from Hong Kong is currently speculated to be made within the current business year for the company, which will end in March of 2021. SBI Holdings is the first Japanese financial institution to confirm that it is contemplating whether to exit the troubled area.
SBI Holdings to Focus on Japan
According to various media reports, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, has pledged to position Japan as a global financial centre instead of Hong Kong. The firm plans to establish an international financial centre in western Japan, such as Osaka and Kobe.
The expected withdrawal from Hong Kong is unlikely to have any real impact on SBI’s earnings.