Hong Kong stocks jump by most in two weeks on speculation China Evergrande to avert full-blown default

stocks, robust trading volume, China Evergrande attempts, onshore unit asked to reschedule

Hong Kong stocks surged by the most in two weeks as trading resumed after a one-day pause. Companies in the China Evergrande group rallied amid speculation the indebted developer will avert a full-blown default.

The Hang Seng Index climbed 1.7 per cent to 24.620.72 from Tuesday’s level, set for the biggest gain since September 10. The Hang Seng Tech Index added 1.8 per cent. The city’s financial markets were closed on Wednesday for a holiday related to the Mid-Autumn Festival.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.6 per cent, aided by robust trading volume and improved sentiment after the central bank pumped liquidity into the banking system to allay concerns about liquidity crunch while China Evergrande attempts to resolve its debt woes.

The Shenzhen-based developer jumped 22 per cent to HK$2.78 following media reports about a state-led restructuring plan. The Shenzhen-based developer, which last reported more than US$300 billion of liabilities on June 30, said that its onshore unit asked to reschedule interest payments due Thursday on a local-currency bond. Its new-energy vehicle unit jumped 4 per cent while the property management arm added 6.7 per cent.

“The [restructuring] news, if true, is very positive as it suggests that central government is aware of high potential risk related to Evergrande bankruptcy and it needs to take immediate measures to contain all these risks,” said Raymond Cheng, managing director at CGS-CIMB Securities. “We expect both sector’s share prices to see strong rebound in near term.”

Other property developers also rode on the upturn. Longfor Group and Country Garden Holdings rallied at least 7 per cent as the best performers on the Hang Seng Index.

Sentiment was also bolstered by the overnight rally in US markets. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank could begin scaling back asset purchases in November and complete the process by mid-2022. Officials were also more inclined to raise interest rates next year.

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