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Asia-Pacific Stock Indexes Finish Mostly Higher; Hang Seng Tumbles 1.5% as China Tech Crackdown Continues

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Monday with shares in Hong Kong taking a more than 1.5% hit following a Financial Times Report that Beijing wants to break up Ant Group’s Alipay and force the creation of separate loans app.

Shares in China manage to eke out a small gain despite a sharp drop in Chinese electric vehicles stocks, which fell after the country’s industry minister said consolidation in the sector is needed as there are “too many” EV makers in China. BYD dropped 2.14% while Xpeng slipped 2.35%, CNBC reported.

Cash Market Recap

Gains in China were also capped by a 34.57% plunge in shares of Chinese property developer Soho China after a takeover deal by Blackstone Group fell through. Soho China said in a filing on Friday that Blackstone has decided not to go through with its $3 billion bid to buy the developer.

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 30447.37, up 65.53 or +0.22%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 25813.81, down 392.10 or -1.5% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3127.86, up 2.10 or -0.07%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3715.37, up 12.26 or +0.33% and in Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7425.20, up 18.60 or +0.25%.

Hong Kong Shares Drop, Dragged Lower by Tech on Latest Crackdown

Hong Kong shares finished down on Monday, dragged lower by internet giants following a slew of moves by Beijing to crack down on the country’s technology sector, Reuters reported. Shares of tech giants Meituan, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings dropped 4.5%, 4.2% and 2.5%, respectively.

The latest moves in Beijing’s crackdown include telling delivery and ride-hailing firms to better protect workers, breaking up Ant’s Alipay and forcing creation of separate loans app, and telling internet giants to stop blocking each other’s website links from their platforms.

China’s Blue-Chips End Lower as Lending Data Disappoints

Chinese blue-chips ended lower on Monday, dragged down by semiconductors and tourism stocks, after official data showed new bank lending in Beijing rose less than expected last month, while Shanghai shares closed higher. Chinese banks extended 1.22 trillion yuan in new yuan loans in August, up from July but falling short of analysts’ expectations.

Aussie Shares Gain on Boost from Sydney Airport, Energy and Materials Stocks

Australian shares rose on Monday, boosted by airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings surging on an improved takeover bid and solid gains in the energy and material stocks.

Sydney Airport Holdings advanced as much as 5.1% to its highest in over a year after bidder Sydney Aviation Alliance increased its offer price to A$8.75 from prior proposals at A$8.45 and A$8.25, to acquire all shares in the airport operator.

Energy stocks rose 1.25% after oil prices hit a one-week high on concerns over U.S. supplies, along with higher demand hopes.

Major miners rose 1.06% led by lithium-boron supplier Ioneer Ltd, up 7.58%, followed by lithium miner Pilbara Minerals Ltd, gaining 7.32%.


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