HK prop­erty agents ‘ban’ China-is­sued UnionPay cards

New Straits Times - - Business -

HONG KONG: Banks are ask­ing Hong Kong prop­erty agents to stop ac­cept­ing China-is­sued UnionPay cards, as main­land author­i­ties es­ca­late their crack­down on cap­i­tal flows out of the coun­try.

Ri­ca­corp Prop­er­ties Ltd stopped ac­cept­ing China-is­sued UnionPay cards for home pur­chases yes­ter­day af­ter it re­ceived a ver­bal no­tice from banks, said a spokesman. Cen­taline Prop­erty Agency also im­ple­mented the new rule, said sources.

China has clamped down on cap­i­tal flight out of the main­land as it seeks to sta­bilise its cur­rency, tight­en­ing rules on ev­ery­thing from over­seas in­sur­ance pur­chases to cor­po­rate deal­mak­ing.

In Hong Kong, a rush of de­mand from Chi­nese buy­ers has driven home prices to record highs.

An in­dex of prop­erty stocks here fell 0.7 per cent as of 1.54pm yes­ter­day, mak­ing it the big­gest drag on the Hang Seng In­dex.

Sun Hung Kai Prop­er­ties Ltd de­clined as much as 2.3 per cent while New World De­vel­op­ment Co de­pre­ci­ated by 1.6 per cent.

UnionPay In­ter­na­tional has started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on sus­pi­cious cross-bor­der trans­ac­tions, said the Chi­nese fi­nan­cial ser­vices cor­po­ra­tion in a state­ment, re­it­er­at­ing that it had banned over­seas home pur­chases with its cards. Bloomberg

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