October 31, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 18 days ago

HSBC cuts Hong Kong best lending rate, first since financial crisis

FILE PHOTO: HSBC logos are seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - HSBC (0005.HK) (HSBA.L) on Thursday cut its best lending rate in Hong Kong for the first time since the global financial crisis, lowering it by 12.5 basis points to 5%, effective on Friday, November 1.

George Leung, an advisor at the lender, told reporters on Thursday that the cut could help businesses and spur consumption in the city. Hong Kong is facing its first recession since 2009.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 2% on Thursday, hours after the Federal Reserve cut by the same margin. Hong Kong policy moves lock-step with the U.S., as obliged by the currency peg with the greenback.

Reporting by Clare Jim, Farah Master, Donny Kwok and Noah Sin; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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