Hong Kong's banks should look beyond China

Hong Kong’s tepid growth is forcing its banks to rely ever more on China for profits. That may be the easy option — but they should look further afield.

Hong Kong’s economy is in trouble. House prices are falling. Economic growth is slowing so much Nomura analysts now predict a recession. The increasing albeit slow opening of China’s economy is challenging Hong Kong’s status as a crucial hub for foreign companies hoping to enter the mainland.

In this environment, it is unsurprising Hong Kong’s banks are looking outside the special administrative region for growth opportunities. It is perhaps even less surprising they are looking to China to ensure those returns, growing their loan books across the border and benefiting from their stakes in mainland lenders.

But although the move towards China has offered real benefits to...

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