Hong Kong stocks reverse gains to close lower amid volatile swings in i-Cable

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 April, 2017, 9:21am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 April, 2017, 6:29pm

Hong Kong stocks reversed earlier gains to post a loss on Friday amid volatile swings in troubled broadcaster i-Cable Communications after the company announced details of a share sale plan.

The Hang Seng Index eased 0.1 per cent or 14.96 points to close at 24,042.02, erasing gains of as much as 0.6 per cent earlier in the day.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, known as the H-share index, fell 0.1 per cent or 6.15 points to 10,050.02.

Hong Kong pay-television provider i-Cable Communications rebounded 0.1 per cent to 71 Hong Kong cents after diving by as much as 24 per cent, when it resumed trading Friday morning. The stock had been suspended from trading for three days pending the announcement.

Up to 200 jobs at broadcaster i-Cable likely to be axed, white knight consortium reveals

i-Cable announced on Thursday night that Forever Top had agreed on a deal with the company’s parent, Wharf (Holdings), for an equity injection of HK$1 billion to strengthen i-Cable’s financial position. However, analysts doubted the injection would be sufficient to enable a turnaround for i-cable, which has suffered losses for many years.

Wharf Holdings slid 1.1 per cent to HK$66.15.

Local broadcaster HKBN declined 3.8 per cent to HK$8.21 after Credit Suisse cut its share price target for the company, saying its interim results were disappointing.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite closed at 3,173.15, little changed from the previous day.

The large-cap CSI300 edged up 0.2 per cent to 3,466.79. The Shenzhen Composite Index and the startup board ChiNext slipped 0.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively, trading at 1,920.23 and 1,850.39.

Banking shares gained after data showed the People’s Bank of China injected a net 170 billion yuan (US$27.4 billion) into the financial system this week through reverse repurchase agreements, reflecting the biggest weekly net injection in three months.

China Merchants Bank jumped 2.2 per cent to 18.80 yuan. China Citic Bank rose 1.8 per cent to 6.24 yuan. ICBC and China Construction Bank rose 1.7 per cent and 2.8 per cent to 4.81 yuan and 5.92 yuan respectively.