Japanese online financial giant SBI Holdings Inc. is considering withdrawing from Hong Kong, informed sources said Wednesday.
It has concluded that Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center will decline due to China’s stronger control, the sources said.
The withdrawal may be made within the current business year ending next March.
SBI will promote an initiative led by President and Chief Executive Officer Yoshitaka Kitao to set up an international financial center in a western Japan area including Osaka and Kobe.
The company is the first Japanese financial institution confirmed to be considering a pullout from Hong Kong.
SBI has bases for securities and medical research and development operations in Hong Kong, employing dozens of workers, including those hired locally.
The expected withdrawal is unlikely to have any major impact on SBI’s earnings.
The “one country, two systems” principle for Hong Kong is in danger following China’s enactment of a national security law.
On Sept. 2, Kitao said in a conference that SBI “will take the position of Hong Kong as an international financial hub.”
SBI is asking for support from Japanese central and local governments so that the country will be able to host foreign financial institutions withdrawing from Hong Kong.
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