22 May 2019

HSI rises as Hutchison moves to spin off Watson

The Hong Kong benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) was buoyed by news that Hutchison Whampoa (00013.HK) has enlisted three banks to help spin off international retail unit A.S. Watson & Co next year. The subsidiary runs stores including supermarkets and pharmacies in 33 markets. The counter shot up 3.3 percent for the day and hit a 13-year high, making it the best-performing blue chip for the day.

Cheung Kong Holdings (00001.HK), parent of Hutchison Whampoa, closed more than 2 percent higher.

The HSI gave up 75 points in the morning but closed 74 points, or 0.32 percent, higher at the end of the day. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, added 0.62 percent to 10,961, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.13 percent to 2,148 points.

Kunlun Energy (00135.HK), the gas distribution arm of China National Petroleum Corp, slid near 3 percent after Kunlun chairman Wen Qingshan resigned amid a widening government anti-corruption campaign that claimed his predecessor four months ago.

Medicine plays registered notable increases Wednesday as investors piled in. Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group (02196.HK) bounced up 3.5 percent to hit a new high. Other players including Sihuan Pharmaceutical (00460.HK), China Medical System (00867.HK) and Town Health International Investments (03886.HK) rose between 1.5 percent and 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, thin-film silicon solar module maker Hanergy Solar Group (00566.HK) saw heavy selling pressure during the session. The counter lost almost 26 percent before ending 12 percent lower for the day.

NWS Holdings (00659.HK) will invest HK$2.3 billion (US$ 290 million) in Beijing Capital International Airport (00694.HK) in exchange for a 20.38 percent H-share stake. The acquirer lost 3.3 percent while the latter recorded a marginal rise of 0.3 percent.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



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