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Hong Kong billionaire tycoons call for end to protests as unrest affects their profits

Hong Kong billionaire tycoons call for end to protests as unrest affects their profits

Hong Kong’s property tycoons are hurting, the share market is tanking and the tourism sector has taken a beating as the pro-democracy movement continues to strangle the city.

While the US-China trade war has fuelled some of the losses, weeks of violent protests have wreaked havoc for investor sentiment and caused huge reputational damage for the semi-autonomous territory as an economic powerhouse.

As the protest movement enters its 11th week with no signs of slowing down, analysts are predicting the financial hub is barrelling towards recession.

Now the city’s ultra-rich are calling for the protests to end.

The net worth of the 10 wealthiest tycoons, who derive their fortune from Hong Kong-listed companies, has shed billions since the protests started in June, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Hong Kong’s richest person, 91-year-old business magnate Li Ka-shing, has become the latest billionaire to join the chorus speaking out.

Mr Li, nicknamed ‘Superman’ in Hong Kong, took out full-page ads in most local newspapers, urging a halt to the unrest “in the name of love”.

It featured the Chinese word for “violence” with a red cross through it, flanked by slogans about loving China and loving Hong Kong.

The entrepreneur, who is worth approximately $39 billion, signed the ad with “from a Hong Kong resident, Li Ka-shing”.