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Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong unrest deals $200m profit blow to city's rail operator

MTR Corp blames vandalism and depressed ridership for financial woes

Anti-government protesters destroy ticket machines at Hong Kong's Tai Wai Station in October.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- Hong Kong protests will cost the city's transportation network operator more than $200 million in profit, the company said Thursday, citing damage to trains and fewer passengers as some of the biggest expenses incurred during the past six months of unrest.

MTR Corp. blamed "social unrest" for decreased passenger traffic, as well as the mounting costs of repairing or replacing vandalized property. The state-owned operator, which is also a major developer and landlord in the city, also pointed to the cost of enhancing security, and the expense of supporting retail tenants adversely affected by the turmoil.

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