Bankruptcies fall to near 10-year low

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 November, 2010, 12:00am

Personal bankruptcies fell to an almost 10-year low last month, according to the latest figures from the Official Receiver's Office.

Bankruptcy petitions in October fell about 17 per cent to 584 from 704 in September.

It was the lowest monthly figure since December 2000, when there were 573 petitions filed.

Of the petitions last month, 41 were submitted by creditors - the lowest number since the 39 in June 2007. For the first 10 months of the year, the number of bankruptcy petitions totalled 7,717, down more than 44 per cent compared to the same period last year.

There were 13,872 petitions between January and October last year and 15,784 for all of 2009.

The Official Receiver's Office did not provide any analysis of the improvement.

Government figures seem to suggest the Hong Kong economy has been recovering from the global financial crisis in 2008.

During the economic downturn in 2002, the number of monthly personal bankruptcy petitions regularly rose to more than 2,000, compared to 780 for all of 1996 and 829 for all of 1997, when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule.

With the impact of the global financial crisis in late 2008, the number of personal bankruptcies rose again, peaking at 1,872 in March last year. The number fell to around 1,000 later in the year as the economy started picking up.

Hong Kong's economy expanded 6.8 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Last week, the government revised up its full-year gross domestic product forecast for 2010 to 6.5 per cent growth from a previous forecast of 5 per cent to 6 per cent.



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