22 March 2019

Mainland lenders again lead HSI lower

Hong Kong stocks extended their slide into a second day Thursday, weighed on by mainland banks disheartened by the central bank’s decision to suspend its open market operations this week.

The Hang Seng Index dipped 120 points, or 0.52 percent, to 23,218. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 1 percent to 10,962.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.06 percent to 2,202 points.

Bank of China (03988.HK) slipped 0.8 percent while China Construction Bank (00939.HK), Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (01398.HK) and Bank of Communications (03328.HK) each fell more than 1 percent.

On Wednesday, banking and insurance counters drove the index near a one-month low. 

Shenzhen property counters took a nosedive after reports banks will halt special offers to first-time mortgage applicants in order to help contain rising home prices.

China Resources Land (01109.HK), KWG Property Holding (01813.HK) and Shimao Property (00813.HK) fell in a range of 3.2 percent to 3.4 percent. Fantasia Holdings Group (01777.HK) tumbled 3.6 percent.

Meanwhile, gaming plays rallied as investors piled into the sector again.

Galaxy Entertainment (00027.HK) was the most favored blue chip, surging 2.8 percent to a record high after Deutsche Bank raised its target price to HK$90. Wynn Macau (01128.HK) shot up 6.5 percent and SJM Holdings (00880.HK) closed 2.4 percent higher.

China Cinda Asset Management (01359.HK) debuted on a winning note, climbing as much as 33.8 percent before closing 25.7 percent higher than its offer price.

Afterwards, Japanese brokerage Nomura rated the stock overweight, with scope for future growth.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



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