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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Hong Kong Stock Exchange  >  Next Digital Limited    282   HK0000271764

NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED

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U.S. slams HSBC over treatment of Hong Kong customers, says China 'bullying' UK

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08/26/2020 | 12:03pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: HSBC logo is seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday renewed criticism of British bank HSBC for its reported treatment of customers linked with the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, saying China was "bullying" the United Kingdom.

Pompeo cited reports of Hong Kong-based executives at Next Media being unable to access their HSBC bank accounts and said the bank was "maintaining accounts for individuals who have been sanctioned for denying freedom for Hong Kongers, while shutting accounts for those seeking freedom."

"Free nations must ensure that corporate interests are not suborned by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) to aid its political repression," Pompeo said in a statement.

Next Media is the previous name of Next Digital, publisher of the Apple Daily newspaper and part-owned by democracy activist and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who was arrested Aug. 10 under Hong Kong's new security law.

While Next Digital's business account remains open, HSBC has frozen Lai's personal and private business accounts, as well as the personal and credit card accounts of senior executive Mark Simon, Simon told Reuters.

The bank is still taking loan and credit card payments from the accounts despite the block, Simon said.

A spokeswoman for London-based HSBC declined to comment on Pompeo's remarks or the allegations made by Next Digital.

A spokesman for Britain's Foreign & Commonwealth Office said: "We are in close contact with a wide range of businesses in Hong Kong and are working with them on the impact of the national security legislation and related developments."

China's Foreign Affairs Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

HSBC has in recent months faced mounting pressure on both sides of the Atlantic as it attempts to balance its need to maintain access to the Chinese market with appeasing lawmakers in the United States and Britain critical of Beijing's handling of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Senior British and U.S. politicians have criticized HSBC and Standard Chartered after the banks backed China's national security law for the territory.

Last month, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reprimanded HSBC and other banks for supporting the new law, saying the rights of the people of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed for bankers' bonuses.

Global banks have been examining whether their clients in Hong Kong have ties to the city's pro-democracy movement, in an attempt to avoid getting caught in the crosshairs of the security law, Reuters reported last month.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington, Lawrence White and Sinead Cruise in London, and Anne Marie Roantree in Hong Kong; additional reporting by Beijing bureau and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; editing by Steve Orlofsky and Rosalba O'Brien)

By Susan Heavey, Lawrence White and Anne Marie Roantree


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
APPLE INC. -0.61% 115.04 Delayed Quote.56.70%
HSBC HOLDINGS PLC 4.71% 321.4 Delayed Quote.-45.70%
NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED 3.92% 0.265 End-of-day quote.1.92%
STANDARD CHARTERED PLC 4.20% 399.4 Delayed Quote.-43.94%
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Financials
Sales 2020 1 158 M 149 M 149 M
Net income 2020 -415 M -53,6 M -53,6 M
Net Debt 2020 537 M 69,2 M 69,2 M
P/E ratio 2020 -1,02x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 699 M 90,1 M 90,1 M
EV / Sales 2019 0,51x
EV / Sales 2020 0,83x
Nbr of Employees 2 369
Free-Float 28,1%
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Managers
NameTitle
Kim Hung Cheung Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Chee Ying Lai Executive Chairman
Chi Keung Hung Chief Financial Officer
Yut Kin Ip Non-Executive Director
Tat Kuen Chow Secretary & Executive Director
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