RIYADH: Investors dumped China’s banking and real estate stocks on Thursday, fearing deepening trouble in the property sector would begin to hit the financial system as a wave of homebuyers refused to repay mortgage loans for delayed projects.
Bonds of Chinese developers were also sold off, as confidence in the sector, already wrecked by the Evergrande Group crisis, continues to wane.
Over the past few weeks, a growing number of homebuyers across China have collectively threatened to halt mortgage payments to banks until developers resume construction of pre-sold homes, according to official newspapers and social media.
The CSI300 Bank index fell as much as 3.3 percent, hitting its lowest level since March 2020, while Hong Kong’s financial shares lost 1.5 percent.
China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank dropped as much as 6.3 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.
China-listed developers Gemdale and Greenland Holdings slumped more than 4 percent, while Hong Kong-listed Longfor Group tumbled 5.4 percent to a four-month low.
The CSI Real Estate Bond Index fell to the lowest level in nearly four years, while an index tracking Chinese high-yield bonds hit record lows.
Alibaba cuts a third of deals team staff after regulatory crackdown
Alibaba Group is cutting over a third of staff in its in-house deals team, four people with knowledge of the matter said, after Beijing’s sweeping regulatory crackdown sharply slowed the Chinese e-commerce behemoth’s deal-making pace.
Alibaba plans to reduce its strategic investment team of more than 110 people, mainly based in mainland China, to about 70, said two of the people, adding the company has already informed a bulk of staffers of their redundancy.
The job cuts mainly involve mid-level and senior people in the mainland, said the two people, declining to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media. The company’s deals team also has staff in Hong Kong, they added.
China summer wheat output rises 1 percent on extra acreage, yields
China’s summer wheat output rose 1 percent this year, official data showed on Thursday, boosted by additional acreage in a traditional cotton-growing region and higher yields.
Summer wheat output in the world’s top grower of the grain reached 135.76 million tons in 2022, the National Statistics Bureau said, helped by a 0.7 percent increase in yields and a slight gain in acreage.
Prices of wheat harvested in China rose to their highest levels on record last month, despite stable demand, pushed up by surging farming costs, tight stocks and concerns that heavy rains last year would lead to a smaller crop.
The agriculture ministry, however, had recently said its winter wheat crop improved more than expected.
(With input from Reuters)