Hang Seng Index

Market Wrap: Hang Seng falls as developers get hammered

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 6:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 7:22pm

Hong Kong stocks fell on Monday after local developers got hammered due to the new measures aiming at curbing demand, yet further losses were capped by better-than-expected earnings of Chinese lenders.

“Today’s decline factored in the impact of the fresh curb on property developers, as home prices are unlikely to fell much due to relatively tight supply,” said Kenny Tang,

General Manager of Securities Business Division at AMTD Financial Planning. “I don’t see much downside room further for property stocks.”

The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 34.52 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 21,511.05. Turnover shrank to HK$47.07 billion, compared with a year-to-date average of HK$53 billion.

Third-quarter results of both China Construction Bank (0939.HK) and Agricultural Bank of China (1288.HK) beat results, posting a 12 per cent and 16 per cent jump in net profit respectively. CCB added 0.87 per cent to finish at HK$5.79 while ABC jumped 3.09 per cent to close at HK$3.34.

China Life (2628.HK) dipped 0.22 per cent to finish at HK$22.5. The nation's largest insurer by premiums swung to its first quarterly loss in four years as its investment returns got hit by sluggish domestic capital markets.

Any dip in HK property stocks on Monday would simply represent an enhanced buying opportunity

Property developers and brokers slumped, after the Hong Kong government said after market close on Friday that anyone selling a flat within six months to a year of purchase will have to pay an extra 15 per cent stamp duty on top of the standard rate and 20 per cent if he or she sells within six months.

The Hang Seng Property Index fell as much as 3.71 per cent. The gauge has gained 30 per cent so far this year as of Friday's close.

Cheung Kong (0001.HK) lost 4.67 per cent to finish at HK$112.30 while Sun Hung Kai Properties (0013.HK) shed 5.1 per cent.

Property broker Midland Holdings slumped by as much as 14.51 per cent to finish at HK$3.83, on speculation the property transaction would slump after the new curbs were rolled out.

“We believe any dip in HK property stocks on Monday would simply represent an enhanced buying opportunity,” according to a morning note by Citi.

Stabilising home prices, due to the decline in mainland and corporate buyers, would removed policy risk and asset bubble concerns, the report said.