Hong Kong's wealthiest residents are moving their fortunes out of Hong Kong because of the new extradition law that the Hong Kong government is currently discussing, Reuters writes. The local government is planning to allow extraditions to China if someone is a criminal suspect.
The extradition law will cover both Hong Kong residents as well as foreign and Chinese nationals living or travelling in Hong Kong. It would also allow freezing and confiscating assets connected to financial crimes. However, the confiscation could be challenged by Hong Kong courts as it needs to meet a double criminality standard—the crime would need to be penalised in both Hong Kong and China.
Tycoons are now eyeing Singapore and some have chosen to transfer their funds there. One wealthy individual has started moving his assets—more than $100 million—from a local Citibank account to a Singapore Citibank account out of fear of being “potentially politically exposed,” said an adviser who was involved in the transactions. He also admitted there were more people quietly shifting their funds, favouring Singapore.
Hong Kong and Singapore have been vying for some time to be the go-to home for the super-rich looking to park their enormous wealth. Up until now, 853 individuals worth more than $100 million chose Hong Kong as the base for their income.
The proposed extradition bill has been met with massive street demonstrations in Hong Kong.