Hong Kong hiked stamp duty on stock trades Wednesday for the first time in almost three decades as it tries to plug a pandemic-induced record budget deficit, sending the local equity market tumbling.

The business-friendly financial hub, which prides itself on low taxes and no capital gains tax, has been battered for two years by long-running political unrest and then the coronavirus, putting a huge strain on government coffers.

Paul Chan delivers the 2021 budget. Photo: GovHK.

In a bid to shore up finances, finance chief Paul Chan said he would lift the levy on share transactions to 0.13 percent from 0.1 percent, the first increase since 1993.



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