Volatility in HSBC’s Hong Kong shares pushes hedging costs to the highest level since May 2009
- Over 46,000 HSBC derivatives had changed hands by early afternoon, about 47 per cent higher than the 20-day average for a full trading day, Bloomberg data showed
- Last month, China’s Ping An Insurance Group boosted its stake in HSBC after shares fell to a 25-year low
Once one of Hong Kong’s steadiest stocks, HSBC Holdings is now more than three times as volatile as the city’s benchmark. Investors are betting that will continue.
More than 46,000 of the HSBC derivatives had changed hands by 2:07pm in Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s about 47 per cent higher than the 20-day average for a full trading day. Shares of HSBC rose almost 5 per cent in the city, compared with the 1.7 per cent rise in the Hang Seng Index.
“HSBC’s shares jump today is quite a surprise,” Steven Leung, an executive director of Uob Kay Hian (Hong Kong), said by phone. “We haven’t seen any positive news other than Ping An increasing its stake in the bank and the outlook for the banking industry remains dim.”
The shares plunged to a 25-year low two weeks ago amid increasing concerns political tension in China could derail its expansion plans in that country and as low interest rates and the virus outbreak weigh on its bottom line.
“Ping An believes HSBC’s suspension of dividend payments is a short-term issue and has been actively communicating with the lender about the possibility of restoring dividends in the future,” the spokesperson said.
At the behest of UK regulators, the bank suspended its dividend payments earlier this year, riling up its Hong Kong retail investor base. The lender’s shares have trailed the Hang Seng Index in five out of the past six years once dividends are excluded. HSBC has pledged to review the payout once the impact of the pandemic becomes clearer.