Property 

Brace for a 20 per cent decline in Hong Kong home prices, says senior director of CK Asset

Hong Kong home prices could be headed for a multi-year downtrend that knock valuations by up to 20 per cent, prompting major developers to slash prices for new homes along with the sliding market, according to a senior executive at CK Asset Holdings, the second largest developer in Hong Kong by capitalisation. CK Asset executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said on Tuesday that home prices could drop 10 per cent this year and by up to 8 to 10 per cent next year, amid simmering trade tensions between China and…

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China new home sales decline by 56 per cent during Lunar New Year holiday

New homes sales declined by 56 per cent year on year in 17 major mainland China cities, including Shanghai and Nanjing, during the Lunar New Year holiday, in a sign that does not bode well for a sector already weighed down by a bearish outlook and concerns about a slowing economy. According to a research note released on Tuesday by investment bank China International Capital Corporation, Beijing’s easing stance on the overall economy boosted market sentiment in the beginning of 2019, but sales data from sample cities and developers shows…

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Country Garden, China Evergrande and China Vanke among developers reporting decline in January home sales

Mainland Chinese property developers have reported a decline in home sales for January, in a sign the Year of the Pig could be in for a rocky start. According to property consultancy CRIC, more than 30 per cent of the mainland’s top 100 developers posted a year-on-year drop in housing contract sales, or presales of unfinished homes, for the first month of 2019. Among these, 13 reported a more than 30 per cent decline in sales. Buoyed by easing, expected end to Fed rate hikes, China developers issue US$8.6 billion…

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Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund reports 94.5pc decline in returns amid massive stock market losses

A global stock market slump shrank the city’s war chest for defending the local currency, causing it to lose HK$59 billion (US$7.5 billion) in equity investments last year and driving its 2018 rate of returns to its third lowest on record. The Exchange Fund’s overall returns last year fell 94.5 per cent to HK$13.9 billion on the back of a HK$20.7 billion loss alone in Hong Kong stock market investments. Returns from fixed income and other overseas properties and other longer term investment, offset the equities loss. The Exchange Fund…

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Pre-tax profits rise at Hong Kong banks for third year, but loan growth decline may weigh on sector in 2019

Pre-tax profits at Hong Kong banks rose for a third straight year in 2018, thanks to a wider interest margin after the lenders raised their prime lending rate for the first time in 12 years, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Thursday. Growth in pre-tax profits in 2018 was also higher, at 19.4 per cent; it stood at 15.7 per cent in 2017 and 8.3 per cent in 2016. The sector recorded a decline of 2.8 per cent in 2015. Technology push could open Hong Kong banks to more…

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Banking stocks lead decline in Hong Kong after Federal Reserve defies expectations on rate increases next year

Hong Kong and China stocks fell on Thursday, in line with the declines seen across Asia, as investors were disappointed after the US Federal Reserve defied their expectations and raised interest rates and hinted at more next year. On Wednesday, although the Fed indicated that it would bring down the number of interest rate increases from three to two in 2019, some investors were let down by the absence of a more accommodative stance. “The market was expecting the Federal Reserve to reconsider its interest rate path after some leading…

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China 

US-China trade war hits Singapore exports as city state posts first annual decline in eight months

Singapore’s exports fell for the first time in eight months on a year on year basis in November with shipments to China, its biggest market, continuing their decline on slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy. The contraction comes as economists grow increasingly worried about the impact of US trade war tensions on demand from China, with many expecting the dispute to hurt the city state’s trade dependent economy in months to come. Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell 2.6 per cent in November year-on-year, a sharp contrast to the…

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China 

China’s car sales drop for sixth straight month with November’s 18 per cent decline a further sign of slowing economy

Car sales in China plunged for a sixth consecutive month, intensifying pressure on global carmakers that have staked their future growth on the world’s largest car market. Retail sales of saloons, multipurpose vehicles and sport utility vehicles dropped 18 per cent to 2.05 million units in November, the China Passenger Car Association said on Monday. The size of the fall means the market is all but certain to have its first annual decline in at least two decades. With the trade war with the US showing no signs of abating,…

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Property 

Hong Kong home prices see a 2.4 per cent decline in October – a third consecutive monthly drop at a quickening pace

Home prices in Hong Kong slid for a third month – and picked up the pace. Analysts often say that three makes a trend, so the latest data are significant for property watchers, developers, owners and buyers. Hong Kong lived-in home prices saw their largest fall in three months, with a 2.4 per cent decline in October. That means home prices have fallen 3.6 per cent in total after peaking in July. The price index of used homes dropped to 380.3 in October from 389.5 in the previous month, a…

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China 

Beijing to stabilise the yuan, but intervention to cushion – not halt – currency’s decline, say analysts

Beijing will resist downward pressure on the yuan “for now”, although moderate depreciation in the Chinese currency is probably still on the cards, according to analysts. These comments follow the publication on Friday of a third-quarter monetary policy implementation report by the People’s Bank of China, in which the central bank says it will keep the yuan’s exchange rate at an equilibrium level. In the report, the bank replaces the phrase that it would “increasingly allow market forces to determine the exchange rate” with a pledge to “reinforce macro-prudential management…

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