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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hong Kong Considers Y2K Holiday

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong thinks its computers will be able to avoid "millennium bug'' problems, but just to stay on the safe side, the government wants to make the last day of 1999 a holiday.

Shutting down banks and other businesses that rely heavily on computers would avoid possible complications as the year turns over, the government said.

The holiday was suggested by Hong Kong's Association of Bankers, whose members say an extra day off ahead of 2000 will give them time to wind up all their end-of-the-year accounting.

"This would ensure that all the relevant records are accurate and complete after the millennium occurs,'' said Rebecca Lai, Hong Kong's deputy secretary for financial services. Lai insisted that the public should not be alarmed.

The idea of closing Hong Kong's financial institutions was supported by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority f the territory's de facto central bank f and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the government said.

Hong Kong said it would not be alone in declaring Dec. 31 a holiday. Other places, including Britain, are closing for a holiday, along with numerous banks throughout continental Europe.