Dow Jones Business News
15 February 2016
HSBC Holdings PLC's decision to keep its headquarters in the U.K. rather than move to Hong Kong is prompting soul-searching in this former British colony about its perception on the world stage.
The decision comes as Hong Kong's growing ties to the volatile mainland markets are sparking concern among investors, who are fearful of outsize interference from Chinese authorities. Bankers in the city are also growing more concerned about their personal liberties after several booksellers disappeared and reappeared in mainland China.
Other observers say HSBC's headquarters decision has no bearing on Hong Kong's appeal as a financial hub.
"I don't really see this as a comment" on Hong Kong's position as an international financial center, "nor on political stability," said Douglas Arner, a professor at the University of Hong Kong specializing in economic and financial law and regulation.
"Each case is very specific and [Hong Kong] continues to be highly attractive as a location for regional and international headquarters and operations for international financial institutions of all forms," said Mr. Arner, who is also a member of the city's Financial Services Development Council, which advises the government on expanding the financial services industry... Click here to read the full article.