Asia's most affluent families are shifting their wealth away from Hong Kong following the continued unrest in the city, with many family offices saying that some are already moving money to banks in Singapore.
Hong Kong projects are going on the backburner while investors are looking to Singapore, a destination currently seen as far more business-friendly.
"Projects that were going into Hong Kong, people are now holding back," Shanker Iyer, Asia executive chairman at IQ-EQ, which has about $450bn of assets under administration for family offices and other investors, told Bloomberg.
Projects that were going into Hong Kong, people are now holding back"
The company is getting regular calls from clients asking about the logistics of leaving Hong Kong, he added.
Overall, Hong Kong has seen an unprecedented level of investors looking to move assets to Singapore, said Clifford Ng, managing partner of Zhong Lun, a Hong Kong law firm that advises high-net-worth individuals on cross-border transactions and potential investments.
"We have certainly received a lot of questions regarding the freedom to move money," he said. "Investors hate uncertainty and Hong Kong is a little typhoon within a much bigger storm of uncertainty. Risk avoidance, in handling other people's money, drives that money to a less uncertain place."
A further concern for many family offices, highlighted by Serge Krancenblum, IQ-EQ's group executive chairman, is the possibility that Hong Kong might be obliged change its legal system ahead of its existing 2047 deadline.
He also noted that local and foreign investors, as well as families, inevitably view stability as hugely important.