Bank of America estimates HK$600 billion outflow from HK in five years due to migration by Hongkongers to U.K.

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14th January 2021 – (Hong Kong) Bank of America, a major U.S,.-funded bank, issued a report stating that Hong Kong people’s migration to the U.K. will cause capital outflows of up to US$36 billion (about HK$280.8 billion) this year. The above figures come from the bank’s estimate that if Hong Kong residents leave, they will sell units at an average property price of HK$7.53 million in the Kowloon area and withdraw all their savings. As the British government expects that the number of immigrants from Hong Kong will gradually decline in the next four years, the Bank of America expects that the impact of the outbound population on the Hong Kong dollar will also decrease.

The total outflow of funds in five years is expected to be about HK$588 billion, and immigration-related fund outflow will cause the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar to deviate from the strong exchange guarantee of HK$7.75 per US dollar. However, since the global low interest rate environment will maintain strong liquidity of funds, it is expected that capital flow will not harm Hong Kong’s short-term interest rates. According to a study by the British Home Office last year, with the new local immigration system taking effect, it is expected that more than 150,000 people will travel from Hong Kong to the UK in 2021.

The new system will allow Hong Kong citizens with British National Overseas Passport (BNO) status to apply for residence visas starting from 31st January this year, providing asylum to nearly 3 million Hong Kong people. Hong Kong residents holding BNO will be eligible to stay in the UK for 5 years. After 5 years, they can apply for permanent residence status, and they can apply for becoming a British citizen after 1 year of permanent residence. Another study by the British Home Office showed that in the next five years starting from January last year, the number of immigrants from Hong Kong may be as high as 320,000.

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