Hong Kong, with a stressed housing market with staggeringly high prices, just saw a surge in interest rates.
(Bloomberg) — The Hong Kong dollar’s surge reverberated across the city’s money market on Monday, with interbank rates climbing by the most since the global financial crisis a decade ago.Both moves are underpinned by the same phenomenon: liquidity finally drying up. That’s pushing Hong Kong borrowing costs up toward the U.S. rates they’re supposed to track.An expected hike in the so-called prime rate, which caps the cost of some mortgages; rising deposit rates; and an imminent increase in U.S. borrowing costs all suggest conditions will tighten further. That’s likely to support the Hong Kong dollar, which until recently had fallen to the weak end of a trading band, and undermine the world’s least-affordable housing market.“It’s a warning shot” to Hong Kong’s overpriced assets, said Cliff Tan, Hong Kong-based East Asia head of global markets research at MUFG Bank Ltd. “I expect interbank liquidity to be even tighter and bank funding needs to be more pressing, hence higher money market rates and higher mortgage rates.”
Here are four charts to show Hong Kong dollar’s funding costs are spiking:
One-month interbank borrowing costs, known as Hibor, surged the most in nearly a decade Monday, as liquidity tightened amid bets local banks will increase the prime rate for the first time since 2006. That came as the Hong Kong Economic Times reported eight of the city’s lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and China CITIC Bank International Ltd. raised time deposit rates last week.