ABI Holdings, the largest online brokerage in Japan, has started exit plans from Hong Kong. Although the company has not officially made any statement regarding the move, the company’s spokesman has confirmed the rumor to be true.
Based on the statement credited to the spokesman, SBI Holdings will move out of Hong Kong, as a result of months of unrest before the coronavirus pandemic. China’s imposition of new security laws has made it difficult for the company to continue business in the region, according to the spokesman.
“It’s true we are considering retreating from Hong Kong or downsizing our business there,” he told news outlets. Many industry experts believe the withdrawal of the global player can affect Asia’s financial markets.
Hong Kong struggling with several problems
Hong Kong’s fall as a global financial center has been blamed on several factors, including the Coronavirus pandemic, moths of protests and unrest, and China’s new security law. These have all contributed to the strain in the region’s financial market and economy.
In Hong Kong, SBI Holding operates a securities business, as the financial services firm also handles a research and development firm specializing in the development of medical supplies. SBI holding has grown tremendously in the Asian region, but it seems a combination of factors will lead to its exit from the region.
It is speculated that the exit of the firm from Hong Kong is likely going to take place within the present business year of the firm, which is ending in March next year.
With lots of companies in the Asian Asia bracing themselves up for what is going to be a tough operational environment, no company has made the move to exit yet. But SBI seems to be the first Japanese firm to contemplate exiting the region as it stands now.
SBI holdings shifting operational base to Japan
Although SBI Holdings has been doing well in Japan, the current Hong Kong exit plans mean the firm may put more attention to its operations and services in Japan.
Based on reports from various media, Yoshitaka Kitao, Chief Executive Officer of SHI Holdings, has set plans in motion to reposition its Asian business completely in Japan. Yoshitaka said the plan is to make Japan the global financial center rather than Hong Kong due to the latest development. IT plans to set up an international financial center in the western Japan area like Kobe and Osaka. The withdrawal from Hong Kong may not have any serious effect on SBI’s global earnings.