HONG KONG (Reuters) – Two of Hong Kong’s biggest banks on Thursday cut their key benchmark rates in the city, their largest market, which is bracing for its first recession since the global financial crisis following months of protests.
HSBC (0005.HK) (HSBA.L) trimmed its best lending rate, also known as the ‘prime’ rate, by 12.5 basis points to 5.125%. It was the first cut since 2008.
Standard Chartered (STAN.L) (2888.HK) reduced its best rate to 5.25% from 5.375%.
Earlier on Thursday, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)chopped its policy rate by 25 basis points, tracking the Federal Reserve as obligated to by Hong Kong’s currency peg with the greenback.
Falling benchmark rates in Hong Kong and the United States will “make the operating environment for banks like HSBC more challenging in the future,” George Leung, an advisor at the lender, told reporters on Thursday.
On Monday, HSBC dropped its 2020 profit target, reported an 18% fall in pretax profits for…
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