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Finance

Japan asset manager Nippon Wealth ends Hong Kong services

Flow of new customers dries up amid protests and COVID-19

 A Star Ferry boat crosses Victoria Harbour in front of the Hong Kong skyline.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Nippon Wealth, which manages assets of mainly Japanese clients in Hong Kong, will end its services in the city this summer after struggling to secure new customers, Nikkei has learned.

The bank recently notified its more than 1,000 clients of its plans. 

Nippon Wealth, which relies mostly on in-person transactions, has struggled to compete with the rise of online-based rivals. Hong Kong's 2019 pro-democracy protests and the coronavirus pandemic added to the headwinds, due to their impact on international travel.

Nippon Wealth was founded through a joint investment by Japan's Shinsei Bank and Monex Group. It received a license to operate as a restricted license bank from Hong Kong authorities in 2015.

"Our confidence in Hong Kong's potential has not wavered," said Nippon Wealth CEO Tsutomu Nakajima. "We will explore new opportunities centered around Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore."

Nakajima's career includes positions at Shinsei Bank's predecessor Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Goldman Sachs Japan and Monex.

Nippon Wealth has urged customers to transfer existing accounts to KGI Hong Kong, the local operations of Taiwan-based KGI Securities.

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