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  • Hong Kong Market falls to near four-week low
  • April 25,2019  15:46
  • Hong Kong share market closed near four-week low on Thursday, 25 April 2019, registering the fifth consecutive day of losses, amid combination of the market concern over China central bank's shift away from further broad easing moves and the risk of a strengthening US dollar, which could entice foreign investors to withdraw capital out of Hong Kong dollar and yuan assets. At closing bell, the Hang Seng Index declined 0.86%, or 256.03 points, to 29,549.80. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index sank 161.74 points or 1.39% to 11,502.04.

    Financial stocks led the index lower, with Ping An Insurance (2318 HK) down 2.12% to HK$92.15, and China Construction Bank (939 HK) falling 0.72% to HK$6.91.months to March 31, to between 250 million yuan and 350 million yuan.

    China Minsheng Banking (1988 HK) slid 2.2%, on the heels of influential shareholder activist David Webb saying it was very likely the unidentified bank within a Mainland-based banking group that triggered a warning circular against risky lending practices from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a statement Wednesday that the two had conducted joint inspections of an unidentified bank and other entities in Hong Kong, and found they had entered into a series of complex transactions that “give rise to a number of serious concerns”. The de-facto central bank said these opaque financing arrangements may “conceal embedded financial risks and make it difficult to conduct rigorous risk assessment”. Webb's website -- web-site.com -- said Mingsheng was very likely the unnamed bank, and its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary CMBC Capital (1141 HK) was part of the probe, too. Minsheng Bank said in a statement it has a “complete” internal control system, and strictly complies with regulators' requirements, according to Bloomberg, but did not address directly whether it was the subject of the Wednesday regulatory notice. Shares of China Minsheng Banking closed down to HK$5.86, while CMBC Capital fell 3.57%, to 27 HK cents.

    Property counters were mixed despite HSBC Research has recently published a report, reversing its original bearish view on the HK property market. It expects that residential prices to rise by 10% in 2019. Sun Hung Kai Properties (00016) added 1.5% to HK$135.2. Sino Land (00083) rose 0.6% to HK$13.94. But Hang Lung Properties (00101) fell 1.8% to HK$18.38. CK Asset (01113) also slipped 0.9% to HK$63.35.

    Chinese automakers were also dragged down by Geely's weak performance. Brilliance China Automotive (01114) and BAIC Motor (01958) shed 6.1% and 5.2% to HK$8.61 and HK$5.65 respectively. BYD (01211) sank 3.1% to HK$53.3. GAC Group (02238) fell 1.1% to HK$9.13. Dongfeng Motor (00489) softened 0.9% to HK$7.89.

    Aviation counters remained subdued despite New York crude futures snapped a three-day rally on rising inventory. China Eastern Airlines (00670) declined by 2.9% to HK$5.39. Air China (00753) retreated 2.7% to HK$9.25. China Southern Airlines (01055) dropped 3.5% to HK$6.7.

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