17 February 2020

China lenders, property plays pace HSI gains

Hong Kong stocks closed higher Wednesday, buoyed by better than expected results by Chinese banks and property developers.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index picked up 155 points, or 0.72 percent, to finish at 21,887. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, added 1.64 percent to close at 9,849. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.18 percent to 2,063 points.

China Mengniu Dairy (02319.HK) led the gainers, racking up 8.6 percent to become the best performing blue chip for the day, after saying it earned 25 percent more than it did a year earlier. Also, the group and its subsidiary, Yashili International (01230.HK), announced plans to launch their own e-commerce platforms.

Transaction volumes soared for China’s big four lenders. Agricultural Bank of China (01288.HK) gained 3.4 percent after reporting profits in line with expectations. Bank of China (03988.HK) rose 2.5 percent ahead of its results announcement. China Construction Bank (00939.HK), China Minsheng Banking (01988.HK) and Bank of Communications (03328.HK) all saw notable increases in a range of 2.1 percent to 3.3 percent.

Investors piled into the property sector, sending Shimao Property (00813.HK) up 9.62 percent afterCitigroup singled out the developer’s business performance last year among the best in the industry. Sunac China (01918.HK) closed 9.7 percent higher and SOHO China (00410.HK) gained nearly 6 percent.

AAC Technologies (02018.HK) put on 12.5 percent after it said Xiaomi uses its parts and antenna for its Redmi handsets, indicating the company has managed to enter the low-end smartphone market.

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