37 bank branches closed in Hong Kong
Bank customers were this morning reminded by Hong Kong’s monetary authorities that many bank branches in protest zones remained closed while ATM machines in these areas will likely run out of cash ahead of a two-day public holiday.
In a press release, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority also appeared to address concerns that any panic outflow of funds would destabilise the currency peg by stating that “trading was normal” with “ample liquidity in the banking system”, but that the “HKMA is also prepared to inject Hong Kong dollar and [yuan] liquidity into the banking system as and when necessary”.
It is the second day bank services in parts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were suspended as a result of ongoing protests by tens of thousands of demonstrators calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and a renegotiation of a Beijing-imposed democratic reform package.
As of 9am on Tuesday, 37 bank branches and offices of 21 banks were closed, according to the HKMA, and bank note distribution and cheque clearing operations are delayed.
On Monday, the Hong Kong dollar dropped as much as 0.09 per cent to a six-month low of HK$7.7648 against the greenback, the largest intraday loss since 2011, though it remains far from the 7.85 level that would trigger intervention. The Hong Kong dollar strengthened slightly to 7.76 in early Tuesday trading.