The impact of Hong Kong unrest on finance: not fear but inconvenience
Life goes on, but with extra security, incongruous graffiti and smashed ATMs.
Extra security: a police patrol at MTR station on the lookout for protesters
A finance conference was canned in Hong Kong last week. It will be pushed back three months, and held in Macau instead. It wasn’t that anyone feared for their safety. It was a knock-on effect of the one true impact of civil unrest on Hong Kong business and finance so far: inconvenience.
You don’t get caught up in petrol bombs and iron bars in Hong Kong unless you’re either very unlucky or decide to take too close a look at the action. During the day, life goes on pretty much as it always has, just with incongruous graffiti around the base of the Bank of China building, some smashed ATMs belonging to the mainland banks and unfamiliar security around places such as the legislative council.
Instead, here’s how unrest impacts your life in finance today.
You don’t fly on weekends, or indeed any time after midday on Friday, because that’s when the most disruption takes place and you can’t count on the Airport Express running or the airport itself being free of protest. You allow longer anyway, to deal with the extra security checks in order to enter the airport.