StanChart CEO Says Few in Hong Kong Moved Money Abroad on Unrest

(Bloomberg) --

“Virtually none” of the wealthy people in Hong Kong who set up bank accounts outside the territory amid last year’s unrest actually moved money abroad, Bill Winters said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

“Hong Kong’s in good shape. It was a horrific six months. While the issues are as yet unresolved -- the idea that this is behind us would be hopeful, but naive -- peace is prevailing,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Winters also said he had intended to travel next week to Wuhan, China, a city that has been locked down by authorities trying to halt the spread of a SARS-like virus. The “level of anxiety is very very high” about the outbreak among local Standard Chartered Plc staff, he said.

He also remarked:

  • Hong Kong business activity, IPO calendar has stayed strong; hospitality sector “severely impacted;” city should “get back to normal over the course of this year”
  • U.S.-China trade talks progress “encouraging” and “stopped cycle of escalation,” but structural issues are still there
  • President Trump’s comments in Davos have been “quite targeted at the domestic audience”
  • Sustainability theme at this year’s WEF, while impressive, has “crowded out some other very important discussions, like the challenges around inequality”
  • Iraq-Iran-Saudi-U.S. issues have “possibility to explode,” but “that feels unlikely” amid willingness to de-escalate
  • Germany is under a lot of pressure to spend, but “don’t know if they have internalized that yet”
  • Repeats that negative interest rates are bad for banking system, create “quite dangerous” imbalances in markets
  • Winters says he’d “never say mission accomplished” on his turnaround of StanChart, though bank is “super strong” with growth momentum in key segments

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.