Hong Kong stocks rise amid hopes of the city’s borders reopening with mainland China
- Mainland property developers Country Garden, Longfor Group and China Resources Land lead index gainers
- Hong Kong is set to announce rules for quarantine free travel to Guangdong province and Macau
Hong Kong stocks rose for a second straight day on expectations of the much-awaited border reopening with mainland China, even as sentiment elsewhere has been affected by the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The Hang Seng Index climbed 0.2 per cent to 23,714.00 at the noon break, after losing as much as 0.6 per cent in early trading. The Hang Seng Tech Index declined 1.4 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged.
Mainland property developers led the index gainers. Country Garden advanced 3.5 per cent to HK$7.07, while Longfor Group and China Resources Land climbed at least 2.9 per cent.
Hong Kong authorities are set to announce a Covid-19 health code system on Thursday, which would allow travellers to cross the border to Guangdong province and Macau without having to undergo quarantine, the Post reported. Hong Kong stocks have bucked the global trend as markets have faltered on fears of the highly mutated Omicron variant. The US reported its first case on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, rumours that Beijing would close a loophole that tech firms relied on to list abroad hammered Chinese technology stocks. China’s securities watchdog denied it on Wednesday, but Alibaba Group Holding, the owner of this newspaper, suffered, declining 3.3 per cent to its lowest this year.
Casino stocks continued to weigh on the market. Macau’s gaming regulator confirmed on Wednesday that its casinos had closed all of Suncity Group Holdings’ gaming rooms, exacerbating the pain for casino operators. Sands China shed 1.6 per cent, while Wynn Macau retreated 1.3 per cent.
Suncity, the city’s largest junket operator, plunged as much as 20 per cent on Thursday, resuming a sell-off sparked by the weekend arrest of its boss, Alvin Chau Cheok-wa, over illegal gambling activities. Chau stepped down as Suncity’s chairman and executive director on Wednesday. Its shares were suspended from trading on Monday and Wednesday.
NetEase’s music streaming company, Cloud Village, opened flat on the first day of trading in Hong Kong. Shares of Cloud Village slipped 2 per cent to HK$200.4, from its initial public offering price of HK$205.
On the mainland, Ningbo Joy Intelligent Logistics Technology, which produces automobile packaging products, surged 171 per cent to 59.01 yuan on its debut.
Major markets in Asia were mixed. Equities rose 1 per cent in South Korea, but fell 0.7 per cent in Japan and 0.10 per cent in Australia.
Author: Cheryl Heng, SCMP