Japan’s Largest Online Brokerage Firm Plans To Withdraw As Hong Kong Imposes National Security Law

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Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of Japan’s largest online securities brokerage, SBI Holdings, said he plans to withdraw from operations in Hong Kong due to the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, because “without freedom, there is no financial business”. In addition, as the UK leaves the EU, SBI Holdings is also evaluating whether London is the best place to operate in Europe.

SBI Holdings is the first Japanese company to be listed in Hong Kong. Yoshitaka Kitao said the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong last year, coupled with the arrest of 47 Hong Kong democrats earlier this month, has made the company’s board increasingly fearful. Hong Kong is no longer a good base for financial institutions to operate from, and more and more Japanese companies are re-evaluating their operations in Hong Kong.

Yoshitaka Kitao believes that the importance of Hong Kong as a springboard to enter the Chinese market has fallen. The Japanese financial institution is so concerned about the situation in Hong Kong that he is evaluating Singapore and Shanghai as alternatives as the company prepares to reassign 100 employees in Hong Kong.

Yoshitaka Kitao mentioned that at present, SBI Holdings may be the only Japanese financial institution that dares to publicly indicate that it wants to withdraw from Hong Kong. Although the directors of other financial institutions think in their hearts that they should withdraw from Hong Kong or should not increase their investment in Hong Kong, they dare not say so explicitly, “unlike me, I am very outspoken.”

Source: Epoch Times

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