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Thursday, Oct 01, 2020

Hong Kong's real estate billionaires are calling for an end to massive protests that have crippled local businesses

While the violence (from both sides!) was absolutely wrong and must be stopped - those HK real estate billionaires ignore the fact that they are the real problem in Hong Kong, not lack of democracy, not China, and not the extradition bill. Hong Kong has high salaries and poor -very poor- quality of living as the real estates are so small, so uncomfortable, so expensive and mainly: monopolized. That's the real problem in Hong Kong, not the desire of the protesters to replicate the Arab spring catastrophe.

Swire Pacific (SWRAY), one of Hong Kong's richest family-owned business empires, issued a strongly worded statement on Tuesday. The company condemned "illegal activities and violent behavior" and threw its support behind Hong Kong's beleaguered government.

"Swire Pacific is deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong," the company said in a statement, offering its full support for Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the city's police "in their efforts to restore law and order."

The company's CEO is billionaire Merlin Swire. The family's business empire dates back more than 200 years and has had roots in Hong Kong for much of that time. It owns luxury hotels, office towers and high-end shopping malls in the city.

Swire is also the largest shareholder in Cathay Pacific (CPCAY), Hong Kong's flagship airline that has become a high profile casualty of the turmoil. Swire said it fully supports the carrier's "strict implementation" of new restrictions on the airline handed down by China's aviation authority over the weekend.

The statement came as hundreds of protestors crowded into Hong Kong's international airport, disrupting flights for the second day in a row.
Cathay has canceled more than 270 flights over the last two days. Shares in the carrier have fallen nearly 14% this month.


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