HSBC cuts Hong Kong equities to underweight from neutral

HONG KONG, July 7 Mon Jul 7, 2014 4:56am EDT

HONG KONG, July 7 (Reuters) - HSBC cut its rating for Hong Kong equities to underweight from neutral on Monday, saying a campaign for greater democracy in the Asian financial centre could sour relations with China and hurt the city's economy.

Occupy Central with Love and Peace, the organisers of a recent referendum on electoral reforms, have threatened to lock down the Central area of Hong Kong, home to some of Asia's biggest companies and banks, as part of its campaign to demand greater democracy in elections for the city's leader in 2017.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters marched in Hong Kong on July 1, many calling for the city's leader to be sacked, in what could turn out to be the biggest challenge to Chinese Communist Party rule in more than a decade. (Reporting By Grace Li; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Miral Fahmy)