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Credit Suisse scraps Hong Kong conference on coronavirus outbreak

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Credit Suisse Group scrapped its annual Asia investment conference next month, adding to a string of cancellations or delay for similar gatherings in Hong Kong and China, as the spread of the deadly coronavirus shows no sign of abating.

The Zurich-based private bank, which planned to hold the conference on March 25-27 at the city’s Conrad Hotel, informed investors on Tuesday (Feb 5) it is canceling the event.

“In view of the continued health and safety risks caused by the coronavirus, we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s Asian Investment Conference,” a spokesman said in an email.

The decision marks the biggest cancellation in Hong Kong’s financial industry after the outbreak of the virus. The city on Tuesday reported its first confirmed death from the virus, the second fatality outside mainland China, where the number of cases has topped 24,000. Neighboring Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, has asked its casinos to shut down for half a month.

Separately, the annual Fund Managers’, Asian Bankers’ and Brokers’ Awards set for later this month has been postponed to March, said Sean Alexander, a representative for the organizer. The decision came after some attendees chose to remain overseas with Hong Kong schools remaining shut until March 3.

Meanwhile, several other conferences slated to happen in China and Hong Kong in February and March have been either postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two-day AVCJ China Forum, which host more than 430 fund managers and was scheduled in Beijing for mid-March, has been postponed until September, according to a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman. And Fitch Ratings’ Credit Outlook 2020 Conference in Hong Kong planned for Feb. 11 was scrapped and the ratings agency will host live webinars instead, it said in an email to potential attendees.

The virus also prompted trade journal HFM to postpone a planned conference for hedge fund chief operating officers in Macau, according to another email sent to potential attendees. The HFM Asia Operational Leaders’ Summit 2020 was to take place on Feb 19 and Feb 20 and will be rescheduled to later this year.

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