Hong Kong shares rise after Cosco bid for Orient Overseas

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 9:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 11:09pm

Hong Kong shares edged slightly higher on Monday on the back of Wanda Group’s announcement that it would sell most of its hotel and tourism assets and Cosco Shipping Holdings’ bid to buy Orient Overseas International (OOIL).

The Hang Seng Index closed 0.63 per cent higher at 25,500.06 points. The gain in the benchmark index represented a partial recovery from last week’s decline, which was the worst in four months.

Among the top gainers were Wanda Hotel Development and OOIL. Wanda Hotel Development closed 46.6 per cent higher at 85 HK cents per share after briefly reaching a two-year high at HK$1.48 per share.

This came after parent Wanda Group – chaired by China’s wealthiest man, Wang Jianlin – announced it would sell off most of its hotel and tourism portfolio to Sunac China for US$9.3 billion. Hong Kong-listed Sunac’s shares were suspended before Monday’s announcement.

OOIL, the logistics firm owned by the family of former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, gained 20 per cent to HK$72 per share after Cosco said it had offered HK$49.23 billion (US$6.3 billion) to buy OOIL.

Cosco is offering HK$78.67 for each OOIL share, according to filings by the companies with the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges on Sunday.

“OOIL’s acquisition by Cosco Shipping signals reforms in China’s state-owned enterprises are still ongoing,” said Stanley Chan, the director of research at Emperor Securities. “The global shipping industry has been facing strong headwinds and now will be dominated by a few strong players, helping their management of costs and shipbuilding plans.”

Insurers also saw strong gains, with PICC P&C surging 3.93 per cent to HK$14.82, Ping An rose 1.29 per cent to HK$54.80. The State Council recently outlined China’s promotion of the development of commercial pension insurance and investment in areas such as stocks, bonds and securities investment funds.

Alex Wong, the director of asset management at Ample Financial Group, said people were “just following the trend in other markets, meaning that they are buying financials. So HSBC and Ping An are leading the way.”

Wong said people were buying financials after internet giant Tencent, which had been a main driver of the market momentum, took a hit last week as its marquee game Honour of Kings was denounced by the People’s Daily in an editorial as addictive and toxic.

“Of course people are concerned about Tencent because it is still targeted by Chinese media, saying that it’s not moving too much,” he said.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.17 per cent to 3,212.63 points while Shenzhen Component Index dropped 0.55 per cent to 10,505.6. The CSI 300 Index – which tracks big companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – fell slightly to 3,653.7 points. The ChiNext Index slipped 1.75 per cent to 1,803.3 points.

The rebound in the Hang Seng Index mirrors Wall Street’s gains on Friday when better-than-expected US payrolls data fuelled confidence in global growth. It follows the HSI’s worst week in four months last week, when it closed at 25,340.85 on Friday as the technology sector fell heavily amid the commentary on Tencent.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 per cent to 20,080.98 points. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.3 per cent, while the Sydney All Ordinaries also rose 0.3 per cent.

All three major US indices closed higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 0.4 per cent to close at 21,414.34 points, the S&P 500 tacking on 0.6 per cent to 2,425.18 and the Nasdaq Composite climbing 1 per cent at 6,153.08.

US labour department data showed that 222,000 jobs were added last month, exceeding expectations for a gain of 179,000.