HK property agents ‘ban’ China-issued UnionPay cards
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