HONG KONG, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Monetary Authority of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Monday announced the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) will lower from 2.5 percent to 2 percent with immediate effect, as signs point to a deteriorating economy amid prolonged social unrest.
The cut in the regulatory capital requirement at this juncture will allow banks to be more supportive to the domestic economy and help mitigate the economic cycle, the Monetary Authority said in a statement.
"Economic indicators and other relevant evidence have signaled that the economic environment in Hong Kong has deteriorated significantly since June 2019," said the statement.
Part of the Basel III regulatory capital framework, the CCyB is a mechanism aimed to build up additional capital during periods of excessive credit growth when risks of system-wide stress are observed to be growing markedly.
This capital can then be released when the credit cycle turns to absorb losses and enable the banking system to continue lending in the subsequent downturn.
The tourism, catering, and service industries have been hard hit in Hong Kong by the prolonged unrest over the past four months, as rioters repeatedly attacked police officers and innocent people, blocked major roads, and vandalized shops, bank outlets, metro stations and other private or public properties in escalating violence.