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Hong Kong's Dilemma Is What to Do With Its Massive Cash Pile

  • Territory due to announce fiscal-year balance on Wednesday
  • PwC says surplus to swell to $21.5 billion on stocks, property
Hong Kong Dollar Forwards Sink to Weakest Since 1999 on Peg Bets
Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg
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As Hong Kongers suffer through the world’s least affordable property market, their government is enjoying the flip-side of the real-estate and stock-market boom: One of the biggest fiscal surpluses anywhere.

When the territory’s budget is unveiled this Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Financial Secretary Paul Chan may have as much as HK$168 billion ($21.5 billion) left over from the 2017-2018 fiscal year to play with, according to an estimate by accountancy firm PwC. That’s 10 times the original government forecast of HK$16.3 billion, thanks to higher than expected revenue from land sales, profits tax and stamp duty, PwC said.