(May 22): Hong Kong real estate stocks have had a tough 12 months. Anti-government protests delivered the first blow when they escalated last June. Then the coronavirus outbreak crippled the city’s economy. Now, Beijing’s surprise plan to impose a national security law is spurring a new wave of selling.
It’s some wave: Wharf Real Estate Investment Co. plunged by a record on Friday, while Sino Land Co. and Link REIT were both headed for their worst day since 2008. New World Development Co. was poised for its biggest retreat in more than three years. The losses helped drag down the MSCI Hong Kong Index by 5.4%.
It may be that investors are concerned that the new law will trigger even more violent protests. Certainly the economy is already suffering, while developers have turned more cautious on the outlook for property. Hong Kong’s government this week sold a large residential plot at a cheaper price than expected, while last week it failed to sell another big site after bids failed to meet its reserve.