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China stocks buoyed by debt-reduction plan; HK takes breather after rally
October 11, 2016 / 4:55 AM / a year ago

China stocks buoyed by debt-reduction plan; HK takes breather after rally

* SSEC 0.4 pct, CSI300 0.3 pct, HSI -1.2 pct

* Gov’s debt-reduction plan needs a vibrant equity market-analysts

* China property shares rebound sharply on signs of strong growth

SHANGHAI, Oct 11 (Reuters) - China stocks rose to a one-month high on Tuesday after Beijing unveiled guideliness to cut massive corporate debt, potentially leading to consolidation among some state-owned companies and drawing more investor interest into equities.

But Hong Kong shares fell over 1 percent, after trading resumed following Monday’s holiday, as some investors took profit from the market’s recent rally.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.3 percent, to 3,304.22 points by lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent, to 3,059.55 points.

Investors welcomed newly-released plans to reduce rising corporate debt by the Chinese government, which will take a multi-pronged approach including encouraging mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies, debt-to-equity swaps and debt securitisation.

“For such a plan to be successful, you need a vibrant equity market,” said Yang Hai, analyst at Kaiyuan Securities.

“The government apparently wants to channel money from the property market to the equity market, which can serve the economy in a better way,” he said, referring to fresh curbs by many city governments over the past week to discourage property speculation.

Investors are now betting that consolidation among debt-laden state-owned companies will accelerate.

China’s major listed shipbuilders, including CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering Group Co, China Shipbuilding and China CSSC Holdings surged on expectation that their state-owned parents will merge.

Also reflecting growing interest in state assets restructuring, shares of China United Network Communications jumped for the second day on Tuesday, after saying over the weekend that its parent company is studying plans for “mixed ownership” reforms.

The real estate sector rebounded sharply following the previous session’s slump, after major developers including China Vanke, Poly Real Estate and Beijing Capital Development reported strong sales in September.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 1.2 percent, to 23,578.23 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.1 percent, to 9,813.84.

During the July-September period, the Hong Kong market posted its biggest quarterly gain in seven years with a 12 percent jump, so many investors expect trading to be volatile this quarter due to rising pressure from profit-taking.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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