Landlords in Hong Kong face tough times as protests sink rents

Value of retail leasing transactions dropped 26% in second half of 2019 versus same period of 2018

International brands have been scaling back operations since the protests began last June. Over 5,600 jobs could be lost and thousands of stores may shut over the coming six months, according to the Hong Kong Retail Management Association.
International brands have been scaling back operations since the protests began last June. Over 5,600 jobs could be lost and thousands of stores may shut over the coming six months, according to the Hong Kong Retail Management Association.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HONG KONG • Landlords in Hong Kong, a city with some of the highest commercial rents in the world, are staring down the barrel of a tough year.

Anti-government protests that started in the middle of last year have taken their toll on shop and office owners. Large-scale protests in popular shopping districts and a slump in tourists have made it increasingly difficult for retailers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'Landlords in HK face tough times as protests sink rents'. Subscribe