The credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded Hong Kong's rating to AA- from AA, the second downgrade in seven months.
Fitch cited the Covid-19 pandemic and the anti-government protests, as well as noting that Beijing was taking a more vocal role in Hong Kong affairs. It said this pointed to the SAR aligning with the mainland, which currently has a lower A+ rating.
"We witness a very poor management by the Hong Kong government and we have a very severe recession going on," said Andy Kwan, a director at the ACE Centre for Business and Economic Research. "And the government doesn't know how to jump start the economy."
In response, the government said it was disappointed with the move and that Fitch had put too much emphasis on socio-political issues, without looking at the SAR's strong economic fundamentals. It said the SAR has reserves equivalent to 40 percent of GDP.
Fitch last downgraded Hong Kong in September, citing concerns over the SAR's governance and the rule of law during the anti-government protests.