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A woman is reflected on a glass panel as she walks by a brokerage house in Beijing. Regulatory risks hit Macau casino stocks this week while the economy loses further momentum. Photo: AP

Hong Kong stocks trim losses in week as Macau casinos rebound from biggest sell-off in a month

  • Alibaba Health surged after Goldman Sachs initiated research coverage with a buy rating
  • Buyers returned to oversold Macau casino concessionaires despite growing regulatory uncertainty
Hong Kong stocks halted a four-day slump as Chinese tech stocks and Macau casino operators rebounded from a sell-off. China Evergrande tumbled amid debt restructuring worries.

The Hang Seng Index gained 1 per cent to 24,920.76 at the close of Friday trading, after sliding to a 10-month low a day earlier. The Hang Seng Tech Index climbed 3.5 per cent.

A gauge of Macau casino stocks trading in Hong Kong rebounded 0.5 per cent per cent after a technical indicator known as the relative strength index signalled the slump this week was overdone. Galaxy Entertainment and SJM Holdings rose by more than 2 per cent. Alibaba Health Information Technology surged 8.9 per cent after Goldman Sachs initiated the coverage with a buy rating.

Still, the Hang Seng Index lost 4.9 per cent for the week, the biggest pullback in a month. Weak August reports on China’s economy, uncertainty surrounding Macau casino regulations, and a debt crisis at China Evergrande Group have combined to spook investors.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 per cent before a two-day public holiday next week. Combined turnover on Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges surpassed 1 trillion yuan (US$155 billion) for a 43rd day, matching the record streak set during the 2015 bull run.

“Coming after the carnage in gaming stocks this week after the latest Government investigation targeted Macau’s casinos, China markets don’t have a lot to cheer about,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at Oanda. “It seems that only the large state-owned enterprises remain safe, hence their recent outperformance.”

Macau puts casinos in the cross hairs to stem capital flows and tighten daily operations

Galaxy rose 2.7 per cent to HK$40.15 and SJM added 2.9 per cent to HK$5.29. Sands China, however, slipped 2.8 per cent to HK$15.06. Macau casino concessionaires crashed this week amid concerns about tighter regulations.
China Evergrande tumbled 3.4 per cent to a decade low of HK$2.54, bringing losses this week to 30 per cent, as the troubled Shenzhen-based developer turned to outside advisers for solutions to unwind some US$305 billion of liabilities.

On the mainland, Neway CNC Equipment, a maker of numerically-controlled machine tools, jumped 198 per cent from the initial public offering price to 22.47 yuan in Shanghai. Another debutant Shanghai Geoharbour Construction, which provides geotechnical engineering services, climbed 44 per cent.