Hong Kong stocks edge lower despite Tencent post-earnings rally

Live video platform Tian Ge suspended from trading after short seller’s report

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 9:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 10:55pm

Hong Kong stocks tumbled on Thursday despite a rally in Tencent after the Chinese online giant announced better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday.

The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.24 per cent, or 64.85 points, to 27,344.22 while the H-shares index lost 0.15 per cent, or 16.46 points, to 10,801.42 points. Turnover stood at HK$94.41 billion.

Shares of Tencent advanced 1.92 per cent to HK$329.4, after briefly surging 5.3 per cent to an all-time high of HK$340.4.

The company reported late Wednesday that its net income increased 64 per cent to 32.7 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion) for the first six months of the year, well above consensus estimates.

Revenues gained 57 per cent to 106.2 billion yuan, fuelled by growth in smartphone game and advertising businesses.

The strong gains in Tencent failed to excite the market as much as expected. “People were buying on high-expectations for some companies’ results but the market starts to calm down as the results came out,” said Gordon Tsui, managing director of Hantec Pacific. “But it’s just a short-term adjustment.”

Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific posted a HK$2.05 billion loss for the first half. The company’s stock advanced 0.86 per cent to HK$11.80 on Thursday despite the disappointing results.

Hong Kong’s market was also dragged down by Chinese commercial banks. Shares of China Construction Bank declined 0.60 per cent to HK$6.62 and ICBC lost 0.89 per cent to HK$5.60.

People were buying on high-expectations for some companies’ results but the market starts to calm down as the results came out
Gordon Tsui, managing director of Hantec Pacific

Swire Properties’ shares lost 1.88 per cent to HK$78.5 despite the company reporting that its interim earnings beat analysts’ forecasts.

Tian Ge Interactive, a Hangzhou-based live social video platform, was suspended from trading after sinking as much as 9.2 per cent.

The losses came after Emerson Analytics issued a report that alleged Tian Ge had exaggerated its user base by about six times and inflated its revenue by more than 100 per cent.

Tian Ge didn’t specify reasons for the trading halt in its filing to the exchange.

Mainland China stocks rose slightly on Thursday, with the Shanghai Composite adding 0.68 per cent or 21.98 points to 3,268.43 while the CSI 300 – which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – increased 0.54 per cent or 19.86 points to 3,721.28.

The Shenzhen Composite Index tacked on 0.58 per cent or 10.99 points to 1,909.38 while the tech-heavy ChiNext rose 0.45 per cent or 8.21 points to 1,833.40.

China Life Insurance gained 1.03 per cent to 27.45 yuan in Shanghai, after the insurer said it will buy a 10.22 per cent stake in China Unicom as part of a deal that saw the telecom firm receive US$11.7 billion from 14 private and state investors.

China Unicom said Wednesday that 14 investors will acquire a combined 35.2 per cent stake in the company’s Shanghai-listed unit, China United Network Communications, for 78 billion yuan.

Those investors include tech giants Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

China Unicom is among the first group of state-owned enterprises that Beijing has given approval to for a pilot run for mixed ownership reform.

Shares of China Unicom were suspended from trading on Thursday.

In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged down 0.14 per cent as the yen rebounded. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 4.58 per cent, dragged down by Australian telecoms giant Telstra. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.57 per cent.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for a fourth day in a row, up 0.1 per cent to close at 22,024.87. The S&P 500 ended up 0.1 per cent at 2,468.11. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 per cent to 6,345.11.