Britain’s decision to leave the EU has left many Asian firms questioning their continued presence in the UK, fearing the potential repercussions that could come from the UK no longer having access to Europe’s single market. For many Asian investors and economies, however, Brexit is also presenting new opportunities.
Investors in China and Hong Kong in particular have benefited from the weakened pound. The Nikkei Asian Review reported how the Hong Kong-listed Magnificent Hotel Investments concluded their agreement to purchase the London-based Travelodge Royal Scot Hotel on June 23, the day of the referendum, for £70.3m. When the referendum result was announced the next day – sending the pound to 31-year lows against the dollar – 10 percent was automatically wiped off the firm’s buying price.
For many Asian investors and economies, Brexit is also presenting new opportunities
It has also been reported that many investors in Hong Kong have been looking to purchase sought-after London property in light of the devalued pound.
Hong Kong investors have been particularly poised to benefit from the changes, as the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar. However, mainland Chinese investors have also sought to make the most of the referendum outcome. Within China’s stock markets, listed travel and tourism firms that service the UK have been trading upwards on the hope that a weakened pound will entice Chinese holidaymakers to visit the UK.
Southeast Asian economies have also identified some benefits from the referendum outcome: it now likely that economic uncertainty will delay the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates. The Fed’s move to raise rates is widely expected to lead to currency outflows and a tightening of liquidity for southeast Asian economies, meaning any delay is likely to be welcomed.