A volley of negative news sent Hong Kong shares skidding lower yesterday. The sacking of brokerage executives for allegedly overheating mainland stock markets dampened red chips. The debut of Beijing Enterprises sparked some switching out of mainland-related counters, brokers said. Property shares remained under pressure on fears the Government was looking to cool speculation in the property market. Miles Remington, of SocGen-Crosby, said: 'It is a healthy correction, but I would prefer to see it go further.' The Hang Seng Index closed at 14,416.57, down 139.91 points, or 0.96 per cent. Beijing Enterprises commanded $2.5 billion of yesterday's $16.38 billion turnover. Sun Hung Kai Properties, Cheung Kong and Henderson Land hurt the index most. A statement by Cheung Kong chairman Li Ka-shing that a cap on mortgage lending would hurt the property market and his call for the Special Administrative Region government to release more land made investors nervous, brokers said. Property stocks have continued correcting since Tuesday, when the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said measures might be needed to cool mortgage lending. Property stocks fell despite two separate covered call warrant issues on the sector by Deutsche Bank. China Resources Enterprise, Shanghai Industrial and Cosco Pacific all fell on rumours of further dampening measures. Brokers said the less favourable conditions could mean only red-chip stocks with strong fundamentals would continue to outperform. Hongkong Telecom fell 1.76 per cent to $16.70, after reaching a record high on Wednesday. Nava SC Securities analyst John Schofield said Telecom's recent rally was the result of 'almost panic buying' on expectations parent Cable & Wireless would sell a stake in the company to a mainland entity. 'I would be sorely tempted to take profits at this level and await a proper correction,' he said. With little market-moving news on the horizon, and the debut of Beijing Enterprises out of the way, trade is expected to be directionless until next week.