Mainland Chinese Companies Flock to Hong Kong Properties

Hong Kong’s Central district, already studded with the world’s priciest office towers, is attracting more mainland Chinese companies to move in, sparking a rise in rents and prompting some Western firms to search for cheaper digs elsewhere.

Despite China’s stock market tumult this year, mainland banks and asset managers are crowding into the district in hopes of drumming up new business with foreign clients.

The moves are further cementing Hong Kong’s status as the prime gateway into and out of China, property experts and bank analysts say.

The shift is part of the grander plan with regards to the strategy of the government for financial institutions and corporates to go global,” said Jonathan Cornish, head of bank ratings for North Asia for Fitch Ratings, who has tracked the expansion of Chinese banks in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is a very obvious launching pad for them to do that.”