Early resolution to HK protests unlikely: Vickers

HK protests June (file)
HK protests June (file)

The increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong, which are beginning to have an impact on Macau’s gross gambling revenue, are not likely to end anytime soon in the absence of visible dialogue to find a solution, according to a leading risk consultancy.

Steve Vickers & Associates said an extended campaign over the next two months may continue, although with smaller numbers as students return to school. 

However, the firm notes that Beijing is unlikely to allow the instability to extend as far as the 70th birthday celebrations for the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1.

“This date may be a “drop dead” deadline,” the report notes.

It says the likelihood of direct action by the People’s Liberation Army is still unlikely, however the risk is heightened after the recent demonstrations at Hong Kong’s international airport, which forced the cancellation of all flights on Monday and ongoing disruptions on Tuesday.  

The firm warns that foreign registered firms may come under increased scrutiny for no immediately apparent reason. 

“Some Cathay Pacific Airways staff members have angered Beijing with personal political comments and the airline has been subject to an unusual level of compliance by PRC authorities in response,” it said, adding companies should take care to display a neutral stands and encourage staff not to engage in political activities in the workplace. 

Analysts have noted that the protests are having a negative impact on Macau’s gross gambling revenue, due mainly to the disruption to travel, with fewer Mainland visitors transiting through Hong Kong to the territory.