HSBC Says Hong Kong COVID Restrictions May Hurt Ability to Keep Workers

HSBC said Hong Kong’s tough measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are hurting the city’s economy and may affect its ability to hire and keep workers.

“The evolving COVID-19 restrictions in Hong Kong, including travel, public gathering and social distancing restrictions, are impacting the Hong Kong economy, and may affect the ability to attract and retain staff,” HSBC commented on Tuesday.

The multinational lender reported its annual profit in 2021 more than doubled to $18.9 billion from $8.8 billion in 2020. However, it expects weaker performance in Asia in the first quarter of this year.

Hong Kong’s daily number of infections have spiked in the past few weeks, reaching 7,533 on Monday. The city follows Beijing’s strict “zero-COVID” policy instead of living with the virus, which has prompted expats to consider leaving.

Analysts have recently noted that the tough curbs could hurt the city’s status as Asia’s financial hub in the long run.

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