Insurers, banks and property firms lead the charge on record day for Hong Kong stocks

Analysts say that the optimistic sentiment for the market is set to continue with the promise of new listings to come

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 9:18am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 7:27pm

Insurance companies, property firms and banks led the gains on a red-letter day for the Hong Kong stock market on Tuesday, tapping into a wave of optimism that further gains are to come.

The positive sentiment followed the announcement of new listing rules that analysts said could bring a surge in companies applying to list, with Ping An Insurance extending gains to a fourth day after it said its online wealth management unit Lufax, the largest online wealth manager in China, is planning a Hong Kong listing in April.

Analysts said the market is likely to remain strong in the near future, after a record finish for the Hang Seng Index on Tuesday, when it closed at 31,904.75, surpassing the previous record close set on October 30, 2007.

“Overall optimism in Hong Kong’s market can probably last until the Lunar New Year, barring days when investors lock in profit,” said Kenny Wen, strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai Wealth Management.

Hong Kong stocks advance to record close on optimism city will return to IPO glory in 2018

In the first three weeks of this year, average daily turnover has risen to HK$130 billion (US$16.6 billion), compared to HK$88.25 billion in 2017 and HK$66.92 billion in 2016.

In Tuesday trading, Ping An added 2.78 per cent to HK$90.65, while China Life advanced 2 per cent to HK$25.50 and AIA Group gained 1.49 per cent to HK$68.30. Banks saw the highest turnover at HK$20.98 billion. China Construction Bank rose 3.7 per cent to HK$8.13 and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was up 3.31 per cent at HK$6.87.

The bourse operator, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, rose 6 per cent to HK$288.40 on the prospects of further gains in the market.

“The market is very strong in liquidity, the H-share market today performed quite well, and the US H-share index was also strong, so the sentiment remained solid,” said Stanley Chan, director of research at Emperor Securities.

“There will be some big names coming in for IPOs in Hong Kong, so the market has more momentum,” he said.

Property firms were also strong, with Country Garden Holdings increasing 3 per cent to HK$17.78; China Overseas Land and Investment rising 2.46 per cent to HK$29.20, and Evergrande ending up 1.64 per cent at HK$27.95.

Elsewhere, Tencent Holdings gained 2.54 per cent to HK$444.20, reversing Monday’s slide of 2 per cent, while oil stocks also rose. CNOOC gained 1.79 per cent to HK$12.54, China Oilfield Services rose 2.87 per cent to HK$9.68 and Kunlun Energy advanced 0.77 per cent to HK$7.87. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, added 0.77 per cent to HK$6.52.

Among the few decliners, aluminium products maker China Hongqiao Group slid 7 per cent to HK$9.97 after it said it plans to raise money through a share sale to cut debt.

Mainland Chinese markets were mostly higher. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.77 per cent, or 26.11 points, to 3,436.59, while the CSI 300 – which tracks the large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – rose 0.79 per cent, or 33.23 points, to 4,258.47.

The Shenzhen Composite Index increased 0.72 per cent, or 13.79 points, to 1,927.56, but the Nasdaq-style ChiNext edged down 0.17 per cent to 1,729.60.