Motley Fool to close Hong Kong business due to political uncertainty

HONG KONG, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Investment news site Motley Fool will shutter its Hong Kong operations due to the uncertain political outlook in the Asian financial hub, according to a post on the company's website earlier this week.

The move adds to ongoing concerns about the media and the investment environment in Hong Kong, following the implementation in late June of a new national security law, imposed by China, which introduced severe penalties for anything deemed as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

The post, by Hayes Chan, Motley Fool's Hong Kong lead analyst cited last year's protests, the introduction of a National Security law and the United States and China's economic decoupling as reasons for the uncertainty.

"With all those uncertainties, it's hard to make predictable decisions to grow our Foolish business here over the next 3-5 years," the statement said.

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said journalists can report freely if they do not violate the security law.

The New York Times said in July it would move roughly a third of its staff to Seoul due to the political uncertainty and difficulties staff had in getting work permits.

Other Asian cities are hoping to lure financial business from Hong Kong, but financial institutions have, so far, not made any major public moves.

Tokyo is the only other Asian city where Motley Fool currently operates. The investment advisory service closed its Singapore business last year as regulatory requirements rendered it commercially unviable.

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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