Jul 2, 2019

Investors worry Hong Kong protests could hurt business

Main chamber at the Legislative Council building after it was damaged by demonstrators during a protest. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Protests against a proposed Chinese extradition bill in Hong Kong have continued as groups of protesters occupied and ransacked the city's legislative chamber Monday and were met with tear gas. The city's leader, Carrie Lam, condemned the "extreme violence and vandalism."

Why it matters to the market: The growing unrest could dampen the territory's prominent financial market, which saw a major boom in the first half of the year.

  • Nearly 70 firms went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to financial consultancy KPMG, a 40% increase from the same period last year. It was the highest number of new public companies during the first half of the year since 2014.

Millions of residents have taken to the streets and the protests are already impacting business decisions. Real estate developer ESR Caymen canceled its $1.24 bullion listing in June because of the turmoil, according to Japan's Nikkei Asian Review.

The bottom line: Analysts say the financial market has yet to suffer any serious consequences, but if protests lead to regulatory changes, "then that's a whole other story," Yuguchi Yutaka, partner in the KPMG Asia listing advisory group, told Nikkei.

Go deeper

Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.

Trump ousting intelligence community inspector general

Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

President Trump notified key lawmakers on Friday that he’s firing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general, who first alerted Congress last September of an "urgent" complaint from an official involving Trump's correspondence with the Ukrainian president.

Why it matters: The move, to take effect in 30 days, comes amid a broader initiative to purge the administration of officials seen as disloyal to the president.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,097,909 — Total deaths: 59,131 — Total recoveries: 226,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 277,828 — Total deaths: 7,406 — Total recoveries: 9,772Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primary elections by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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