Hong Kong fashionistas pawn handbags for quick cash

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HONG KONG, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The newest financial instrument in Hong Kong, a city enamored of luxury goods, is a loan with a designer purse as collateral.

The Yes Lady Finance Co. offers loans on the spot if the recipient can put up a Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes or Chanel handbag. Sometimes they'll consider a Prada, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.


Yes Lady holds the purse and offers 80 percent of its value. Customers get the bag back after repaying the loan, at 4 percent monthly interest, over four months.

The 4-year-old company is carving out a niche in a city with 200 licensed pawnbrokers and 900 money lenders, and some classic and special-edition purses often retain much of their original value. The company recently gave a loan in excess of $20,000 for a Hermes Birkin bag, but purse-backed loans come in all sizes, starting at $190, the newspaper said.

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