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China Stocks Fall as Traders Digest Beijing’s Crackdo...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

China Stocks Fall as Traders Digest Beijing’s Crackdown Signals

Investors watch the stock market in a securities business hall in Fuyang, Anhui Province, China, July 2, 2021. Photographer: Costfoto/Barcroft Media/Getty Images
By Bloomberg
02 Aug 2021 0

Chinese stocks fell as investors digested Beijing’s latest signals over a regulatory crackdown that has roiled markets.

The benchmark CSI 300 Index fell 0.6% in early trade. The gauge, which last week posted its worst five-day stretch since February, was led lower by consumer and energy firms. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4%.On Friday, Beijing pressed ahead with moves to assert greater control over technology companies, continuing a campaign that’s hit financial markets and prompted Washington to suspend public offerings by Chinese companies on U.S. exchanges until risks are better disclosed. A Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping pledged “improvement” in approving overseas listings by companies, Xinhua reported, without giving details.

“Last week’s selloff may be overdone from a technical, near-term perspective,” CICC strategists led by Hanfeng Wang wrote in a note. “Parts of the market are ripe for entry.” Wang added that a tougher stance by U.S. regulators may further encourage listings in Hong Kong. Shares in bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. gained as much as 2.9%.

The Ministry of Industry Information Technology on Friday told 25 of China’s largest internet and hardware companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., to carry out internal reviews and rectify issues ranging from data security to consumer-rights protections.

In a separate statement, China’s transport ministry said authorities will step up oversight of ride-hailing and on-demand trucking companies, adding that some firms in the industry are operating irregularly and disrupting fair competition.

The Hang Seng Tech Index slid 1.2%, with Tencent dropping 3.6%.

Investors are grappling with an uncertain regulatory landscape, given the range of industries targeted by the government. From derailing Ant Group’s blockbuster IPO to rules curbing monopolistic practices across the internet space, reducing leverage in the property industry and reforming the tutoring sector, the investor playbook continues to rapidly change.

Last week’s steep declines were triggered by China’s move to ban swathes of its booming tutoring industry from making profits. The rout was severe enough for Beijing to signal its discomfort.

Chinese leaders are expected to intensify policy support in the second half of the year to bolster the country’s economic growth amid deceleration, China Daily said in a report on Monday, citing analysts.

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