Banks hike deposit rates as HK$ weakens

Business | Lucas Lo 16 May 2019

The Hong Kong dollar once weakened to HK$7.8499, close to the HK$7.85 weak-side convertibility undertaking yesterday, hit by carry trade and capital outflows due to the US-China trade war, as several banks raised their time deposit rates.

The highest rate reached was HK$7.8490, but it fell to 7.8499 by noon.

Meanwhile,a number of banks raised their HKD time deposit rates.

One of the note-issuing banks Standard Chartered (2888) announced the rate raise by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent, while medium-sized banks such as CMB Wing Lung also raised it by 0.05 percent to 0.1 percent.

Standard Chartered increased the HKD time deposit rate to 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9 percent for the three, six and twelve-month deposit plan, where the minimum deposit amount is HK$100,000.

If the deposit amount is HK$1 million or above, the time deposit rates will be raised to 1.8, 1.85 and 1.95 percent respectively.

New customers of Standard Chartered "Priority Banking" depositing HK$1 million or more for three or six-month plan enjoy a rate of 1.9 and 2 percent respectively.

CMB Wing Lung Bank also raised the one and six-month HKD time interest rates to 0.95 and 1.6 percent, where the deposit amount is not less than HK$10,000.

If the amount is up to HK$500,000 or above, the rate will be 1 and 1.65 percent respectively.

East Asia (0023) has a new nine-month deposit fund offer, where the interest rate has remained at 2.15 percent, suitable for new customers or customers who have upgraded to Supreme Gold Services. The minimum deposit amount is HK$100,000, with an upper limit of HK$3 million.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said the total card receivables dropped by 6.2 percent in the first quarter to HK$129.5 billion at end of March, after an increase of 9.7 percent in the previous quarter, which was driven by festive spending and salaries tax payment.

The charge-off amount rose by HK$7 million to HK$510 million during the quarter, while the quarterly charge-off ratio remained stable at 0.38 percent.

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