The Hong Kong exchange traded fund rose Thursday amid growing talk the city may remove the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the U.S. greenback.
The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (NYSEArca: EWH) was up 1.3% at last check.
The city has been under growing pressure to allow the Hong Kong dollar to appreciate against the U.S. dollar as inflation levels rise, according to AFP. Talks began after HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver announced last month that the bank will consider linking the HK dollar to a basket of currencies, which mirrored the sentiments of other economists, who have urged for a shift away from the peg.
“It makes more economic and financial sense but I don’t think they will do it because the bureaucrats would not want to upset the status quo,” Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings, stated in the report.
William Ackman, founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, placed a bet that would benefit if Hong Kong decides to remove its peg against the U.S. dollar, reports Katherine Burton for Bloomberg.
Ackman is purchasing Hong Kong dollar call options. He believes that the best way for the government to allow the currency to appreciate would be to shift the peg to HK$6 against the U.S dollar, or a 30% rise, and then switch the link to the Chinese yuan over three to six years.