One of the richest people in Hong Kong has lost R15 billion over the course of the 10-week protests, and now he's joining the chorus of wealthy citizens calling for the protests to end
- Billionaire real-estate developer Peter Woo spoke out against Hong Kong's protesters in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on August 12, according to Bloomberg.
- Over $1 billion (R15 billion) has been wiped off of Woo's personal net worth since the protests began, according to Bloomberg. Woo is now worth $11 billion (R168 billion).
- Companies run by several of Hong Kong's other ultra-wealthy residents including Merlin Swire and the Kwok family have also put out statements condemning the protests.
- Now in their 10th week, the protests in Hong Kong have caused market volatility and disrupted flights, Business Insider previously reported.
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Protests have disrupted life in Hong Kong for 10 weeks, closing streets, causing volatility in the stock market, and disrupting flights at its airport. Several of the city's wealthiest citizens have had enough, including billionaire real-estate developer Peter Woo.
"It's time to think deeply," Woo, the former chairman of real estate developer Wheelock and Co. wrote in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on August 12, according to Bloomberg. "Going against the extradition bill was the 'big tree' of this movement. This one and only big appeal has already been accepted by the government, so this tree has fallen."
Over $1 billion (R15 billion) has been wiped off of Woo's personal net worth since the protests began, according to Bloomberg. Woo is now worth $11 billion (R168 billion). According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Woo is the eighth-richest person in Hong Kong.
Swire Pacific, the owner of airline Cathay Pacific - the flag carrier of Hong Kong - also released a statement on August 13 calling for an end to the protester's "illegal activities and violent behavior."
"Swire Pacific is deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong," the Hong Kong-based conglomerate said in the statement. The company also said it supports law enforcement and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam "in their efforts to restore law and order."
The real-estate developer run by Asia's third-richest family, the Kwoks, has also called for an end to the unrest. "The recent series of violent acts to challenge the rule of law have damaged Hong Kong's economy and seriously affect citizens' daily life," Sun Hung Kai Properties said in a statement, according to a translation by Bloomberg. The Kwok family is worth $40.4 billion (R619 billion), according to Forbes.
The net worths of Hong Kong's billionaires are unusually sensitive to market volatility, Business Insider previously reported. In 2018, Hong Kong's high net worth population experienced the steepest drop in collective wealth of any region worldwide, according to French technology consulting firm Capgemini. The net worths of Hong Kong's wealthiest residents fell 13% in 2018, compared to the global average of 3%, according to Capgemini.
Thousands took to the streets of Hong Kong beginning in July over an extradition bill with mainland China but have since expanded their focus to police actions and their democratic system, Business Insider previously reported. Protesters blocked departure gates in Hong Kong's airport on August 13, causing hundreds of flights to be canceled. The protesters held signs apologizing to would-be passengers, saying they are "fighting for our freedom."
On Wednesday morning, ABC News reported, flights at the airport resumed.
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