22 January 2020

The Big Picture: HOME RALLY

China’s property stocks are likely to sustain their strong rebound, sparked by news that Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. (02007.HK) has surpassed its full-year sales target in September. Investors will most probably focus on developers with projects in first and second-tier cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Market observers believe home sales will remain robust before November when the Communist Party holds its third plenary session to map out policies, as potential buyers bet the central government will refrain from rolling out new property curbs before the meeting. According to research group China Index Academy, the average new home price in a pool of 100 cities stood at 10,554 yuan (US$1,724) per square meter in September, marking a 1.07 percent rise from August and an increase for the 16th consecutive month. Strong investor confidence is also boosting the property sector, after a slew of economic data pointed to a firmer recovery for the world’s second-biggest economy. In a survey conducted by China Securities Investor Protection Fund Corporation, the investor confidence index for September rose to 58.5 on a scale of 100 — a seven-month high. About 41.5 percent of the investors surveyed said they expected the Shanghai composite index to rise in October, up from 30 percent of the respondents in August.

Anti-graft campaign: President Xi Jinping’s administration has shown its determination to weed out deep-rooted corruption among government officials and party members. Although some critics doubt if the campaign will succeed in pursuing well-entrenched corrupt officials, it is quite obvious that the new leaders are seeking to build up their own authority within the party as well as earn more support from the general public. Chinese people are responding to those initiatives positively. An official website opened by the Communist Party of China’s discipline agency has received a daily average of 827 tip-offs about corruption since it was launched on Sept. 2. In the first month, it received no less than 24,800 reports, compared with an average 300 reports each day between April and August.

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