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Business and Market Discussion / HBSC break up

2022-05-20

Business and Market Discussion / HBSC break up

2022-05-20
 Hong Kong’s jobless rate rose to a 10-month high of 5.4% in the February to April period, up from 5% in the January-to-March period. The rolling three month period saw unemployment increase 0.4 percentage points, with about 206,100 people out of work. Officials said employment weakened in almost all sectors in the three months ending April. The underemployment rate also rose from 3.1% to 3.8%. Labour secretary Law Chi-kwong said, “the labour market should see improvement in the coming months.”


Coronavirus restrictions were relaxed in Hong Kong yesterday for several categories of businesses, more than five months after they were reintroduced to control the territory’s Omicron outbreak. Bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges and mah-jong houses reopened, and a curfew on dining in at restaurants was pushed back from 10pm to midnight. Bars and clubs can remain open until 2am with a maximum of four people per table. 


The Philippine central bank raised its key interest rate for the first time since 2018 to combat inflation which is the second highest in Southeast Asia. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas increased the benchmark rate by 25bps to 2.25%, in line with economists’s forecasts. Consumer price inflation is currently at 4.9%, well above the central bank’s 2%-4% target band. 


Yesterday, Sri Lanka fell into default for the first time in its history. The central bank said that the nation wouldn’t be able to make coupon payments of US$78 million on notes maturing 2023 and 2028, until the debt is restructured. A 30-day grace period to make payment expired on Wednesday. It is the first sovereign default in the Asia-Pacific region this century, according to Moody’s. 


On today’s Money Talk, we’re joined by Andrew Freris of UCAP HK Asset Management and Alicia Garcia Herrero from Natixis. Speaking about the suggestion by Ping An Insurance to break up HSBC is Sai Kung District Councillor, Christine Fong, who represents some minority shareholders.

Money Talk

A fast moving and topical business and finance show bringing you breaking business and economic news and financial market updates. Presented by former CEO and investment bank global trading head Peter Lewis, with over 30 years' industry experience. Join Peter and his expert guests for analysis and discussion on the day's top business stories live every weekday morning 8 to 8:30 a.m. on RTHK Radio 3. We have a podcast to download after the show and you can also listen through the RTHK Radio 3 website live or later in the day. We welcome your questions, comments and feedback to read out in the show. You can email us at moneytalk@rthk.hk, post on our Facebook page "Money Talk on RTHK Radio 3 " or find us on twitter "MoneytalkRadio3") .
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