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Hong Kong property back in bubble territory, Reinhart says

[SINGAPORE] Noted economist and Harvard professor Carmen Reinhart has become the latest person to sound the alarm about Hong Kong, on Tuesday saying the city's property market is showing signs of a bubble.

"There are elements in the Hong Kong picture that are very reminiscent of Ireland, Spain, Iceland" before their crises, she told the Nomura Investment Forum Asia 2019 in Singapore.

House prices in the former British colony are within a whisker of their record high. UBS Group AG said earlier this month that values are set to rise for another decade, making it look as though a slide in prices from August through January was a temporary blip. Prices rose for a 13th straight week, data last Friday showed.

Nomura Holdings Inc. in September expressed its concern about runaway price growth in the world's least-affordable housing market, saying prices could slump 13 per cent after an almost 15-year bull run.

Reinhart's comments came less than a week after Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management LP, said he's shorting the Hong Kong dollar against the greenback to express his view that Hong Kong's usable reserves for defending its currency peg are insufficient.

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