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HK financial hub braces for pro-democracy protest

Companies and financial institutions in Hong Kong have made emergency plans, fearing a partial shutdown due to a planned pro-democracy protest.

HONG KONG: Companies and financial institutions in Hong Kong have made emergency plans, fearing a partial shutdown due to a planned pro-democracy protest.

Activists have threatened to lock down the Central financial district to demand the right to nominate candidates for 2017 polls to elect Hong Kong’s next leader.

The Hong Kong Bankers Club said it will have a back-up plan before 1 July. The club’s members include most of Hong Kong’s major banks.

HSBC reportedly started testing its capability for staff to work from home.

In addition, New World Development Company Ltd said it has “contingency measures to ensure that its critical operation is maintained and disruption to its normal business is kept at a minimum”. The firm is a major landlord in Central.

China has repeatedly said candidates running for the 2017 election must be vetted by a committee, based on existing laws.

Some pro-democracy groups have vowed to protest at Central from as early as next month if the public cannot choose candidates.

Protest organisers have not announced a specific date for the demonstration. It hopes to draw tens of thousands of people to the movement. 

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