Before the crisis, China had never represented more than 10pc of the total external claims of Hong Kong-based financial institutions, but with the implosion of the West, the island's exposure to the mainland has rocketed and, as of late last year, stood at 49pc of claims.

Much of the rise has come from the rapid growth of the offshore subsidiaries of China's largest state-controlled banks, which have increasingly used Hong Kong as a base for sourcing foreign currency funding to pump back into the domestic economy.''


"This is a PRC town," says one senior Hong Kong-based banker. "A decade ago if you heard someone speaking Mandarin you assumed they had accidentally walked over the border, today you can't get a good job unless you speak it."

Andrew Scott, professor of economics at London Business School, says the danger to Hong Kong from its exposure to a Chinese crash is clear. "Hong Kong banks are definitely exposed to the mainland through significant lending and are very dependent on the People's Republic of China central bank for liquidity in renminbi.

Comments: Be the first to add a comment

add a comment | go to forum thread