Apr 5, 2020

Hong Kong investors warn of legal action over HSBC dividends

Retail investors in Hong Kong have threatened legal action against HSBC and will attempt to force the bank to hold an extraordinary general meeting, after it was pressured by UK regulators to cancel its dividend due to the coronavirus crisis. Individual HSBC shareholders in the Asian financial hub - ranging from wealthy business people to low-income earners - have banded together in an attempt to reach the threshold of 5 per cent of outstanding shares required to secure an EGM. "The decision is unreasonable, this is about gathering Hong Kong people who have held the shares for a long time and fighting for our rights," said office clerk Raymond Tang, a member of a large Facebook group dedicated to the cause. A third of London-headquartered HSBC's shares are owned by retail investors in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong retail investor collective has also threatened to sue HSBC in the city's courts over the dividend issue. Noel Quinn, HSBC chief executive, last week sent an apology to the bank's Hong Kong shareholders following the cancellation of the dividend, saying it did not take them for granted.

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