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China Tech Index on Track for Record Low as Rout Contin...

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International Finance

China Tech Index on Track for Record Low as Rout Continues

A man flies a kite on the Bund as the Lujiazui Financial District stands in the background in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, April 10, 2021. China's population is aging more quickly than most of the worlds developed economies due to decades of family planning aimed at halting population growth. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
06 Dec 2021 0

China tech shares extended declines to test fresh lows since its inception last year, tracking a slump in their U.S.-listed peers on growing concerns over withdrawal from American exchanges.

The Hang Seng Tech Index, a gauge of mostly Chinese tech giants traded in Hong Kong, fell as much as 2.9% to the lowest since its launch in July 2020. Trip.com Group Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. led the slide, each losing at least 8.3%. Both companies have U.S.-listed American depositary receipts.The decline comes after the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index plunged 9.1% on Friday, the most since 2008, on concerns that Didi Global Inc.’s delisting would pressure other Chinese firms.
The Hang Seng Tech Index drops to lowest since July 2020 official launch

“The selloffs in the dual-listed stocks in both Hong Kong and the U.S. will continue given the U.S. 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.”

U.S. regulators last week moved further on 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.

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.

The pressure from both U.S. and Chinese regulators has worsened sentiment on tech shares after a disappointing earnings season. The Hang Seng Tech Index has plunged around 47% from a February peak, wiping out about $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.”

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

The U.S. 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 as much as 1.7% on Monday.

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