Hong Kong Handouts May Be Received in July, Finance Chief Says

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Hong Kong’s cash handout included in a host ofrelief measures promised by the government could be received by eligible recipients as early as July, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said.

The HK$10,000 ($1,290) handouts will be received mid-July if recipients opt for electronic registration with banks to collect the money in their personal accounts — the fastest channel for payment — Chan wrote on hisblog Sunday. Registration looks set to begin at the end of June, he said.

His comments come as the Asian financial hub grapples with a recession brought on by last year’s often violent pro-democracy protests and the months-long impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Legislative Council’s approval of the budget, relief measures aimed at supporting wage earners and businesses can now be implemented, Chan said. He noted Hong Kong still facessevere economic challenges and that unemployment has deteriorated.

Social stability also remains a critical factor, Chan said. The city in recent weeks experienced a resurgence in protests, signaling another summer of unrest could lie ahead.

“If the epidemic subsides but violence returns, it will discourage international investors” and slow the recovery of the local economy, he wrote.

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