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HSBC’s Wong Says Governments Realize Unchecked Inflation Threat

Peter Wong, HSBC Holdings Plc’s chief executive officer for Asia Pacific, comments on inflation in Asia, dollar borrowing and the Hong Kong mortgage market.

HSBC, the U.K. bank that made more than half of its profit in Asia last year, aims to add at least 2,000 employees in China and Singapore in the next five years to target wealthy individuals in the region. Wong spoke in an interview yesterday in Hong Kong.

On Asia inflation:

“When you talk about Asia, there is some inflation in terms of assets. India is already increasing interest rates. China is already increasing interest rates. Singapore is using the currency for controlling inflation and Australia is also increasing interest rates. What’s good about it is the governments are realizing the inflationary issues and therefore they are dealing with it.”

On U.S. dollar’s impact on inflation:

“Do I see inflationary pressure continuing? As long as the U.S. currency continues to weaken and the U.S. continues to have a very low interest-rate scenario, there will be people who want to borrow in U.S. dollar and invest in high appreciating assets.”

On the Hong Kong mortgage market

“What’s happened in the past couple of years is that there were so much borrowings of a low-yielding currency with such low interest rates and investing in high-yielding assets. Everybody is doing that, so there is a little bit of tightness in terms of liquidity in the market.”

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