Home Capital China Focus

China tech index tumbles to lowest since launch as rout deepens

Bloomberg12/6/2021 04:59 PM GMT+08  • 3 min read
China tech index tumbles to lowest since launch as rout deepens
"The selloffs in the dual-listed stocks in both Hong Kong and the US will continue given the US regulation scrutiny."
Font Resizer
Share to WhatsappShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInMore Share
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

China tech shares tumbled on Monday, with a key gauge closing at its lowest level since launch last year as concerns mount over how much more pain Beijing is willing to inflict on the sector.

The Hang Seng Tech Index closed down 3.3%, its biggest decline in nearly two months, to the lowest level since before its July 2020 inception. Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com Inc were the biggest losers, each sinking at least 4.9%. Both companies are also traded in the US.

The decline tracks Friday’s 9.1% plunge in the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which was the biggest decline since 2008, on worries that Didi Global Inc’s delisting would put pressure on other Chinese firms to follow suit.

“The selloffs in the dual-listed stocks in both Hong Kong and the US will continue given the US regulation scrutiny,” said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific Yamaichi. “It could be troublesome for them to submit accounting records to the U.S. government.”

US regulators last week deepened efforts to boot Chinese companies off American stock exchanges for not complying with Washington’s disclosure requirements. A delisting from the U.S. stock market could raise the Chinese firms’ cost of capital and reduce investor pool.

See also: China cuts reserve requirement ratio to boost economy

Investor Angst
Didi’s decision to pull from the New York Stock Exchange just five months after its debut intensified investor angst over the listing status of mainland firms in the U.S. as Beijing tightens its grip on the data-rich private sector. Bloomberg reported last week China plans to impose more curbs on companies going public on foreign stock markets.

Pressure from both US and Chinese regulators has worsened sentiment on tech shares after a disappointing earnings season. The Hang Seng Tech Index has plunged nearly 48% from a February peak, wiping out about US$1.5 trillion of combined market value of its members.

“Policy concern is still the key,” Selina Sia, head of greater China equity research at Credit Suisse Private Banking told Bloomberg Television. “That’s negatively affecting valuations.”

See also: Aukus' nuclear submarine deal throws spanner into China investment strategy

Alibaba is trading at 14 times its 12-month projected earnings in Hong Kong, down from a peak level of 30 times in August last year, while Trip.com has also seen its valuation halved to 24 times over the past seven months.

US institutional investors own around US$700 billion of Chinese stocks across A shares, H shares, and American Depositary Receipts. American mutual funds would take up to two months to unwind their holdings in US- or Hong Kong-listed Chinese stocks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts including Kinger Lau wrote in a note on Monday.

The US market has offered higher valuation multiples than Hong Kong for Chinese companies seeking to go public, thanks to liquidity and investor composition reasons, according to the note.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.8% to the lowest since September 2020. Meanwhile, China’s CSI 300 Index erased earlier gain to close 0.2% lower, its first decline in four sessions.

Photo: Bloomberg

Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
Subscribe to The Edge Singapore
Get credible investing ideas from our in-depth stock analysis, interviews with key executives, corporate movements coverage and their impact on the market.
© 2022 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.