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.

What's next

⚖️ Live updates: Democrats' second day of opening arguments

"He could release the aid or break the law. He chose to break the law," House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at day 3 of Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The big picture: Democrats have roughly 8 hours remaining over the next two days to lay out their case against Trump's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

Putin foe Bill Browder was warned of potential danger in Davos

Photo: Julia Reinhart/Getty Images

No story caused a bigger stir in Davos this week than the news that two suspected Russian spies had been caught in August posing as plumbers in the Alpine town.

Between the lines: One prominent attendee instantly suspected a personal connection. Bill Browder, a U.S.-born financier and long-standing thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin, tells Axios that before departing for Davos he received a warning from the British security services — passed along by their Swiss counterparts — that he could be in danger.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - World

Chinese cities cancel Lunar New Year events amid Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

People in Guangzhou, China, wearing masks on public transportation. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

25 people have died from an outbreak of a new coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, including the first outside the immediate area, provincial authorities said Thursday.

The latest: Major cities in China, including Beijing, have canceled large public gatherings for the Lunar New Year holiday, the most important in the country, to help contain the outbreak, according to the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020 - World