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Hong Kong recession sees locals sell off luxury goods

The Hong Kong recession has proved a strong incentive for locals to sell off their luxury goods, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review.

Several local citizens and businesses told the Japanese publication of an uptick in the private trade of luxury items, including those of a grounded flight attendant who traded her personal collection’s best-loved items to ensure sufficient cash reserves in case of losing her full-time job.

Multinational diamond firm WP Diamonds reported a 70-per-cent increase in inquiries to sell diamonds, jewellery and luxury watches, including a doubling of enquiries to sell engagement rings. Secondhand luxury-bag trader Milan Station Holdings reported a 30-per-cent increase in bags sold to its stores during the past two months.

“There seems to be a trend of people monetising to make sure they are liquid in the event of a prolonged crisis,” said WP Diamonds CEO Andrew Brown told Nikkei Asian Review. “It is the perfect time for consumers to think about selling their pre-loved jewellery pieces that were left to gather dust in the dresser.”

The increase in private sales occurs at a time when normal retail sales of jewellery, watches and valuables dropped 42 per cent in January year on year. At the same time, gold trading in the city has increased at a time when global stocks are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Hong Kong recession commenced before the outbreak of coronavirus took hold, the economy battered by ongoing political protests during the second half of last year.

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