Hong Kong Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses on Valuation

Hong Kong stocks swung between gains and losses amid speculation valuations have become more attractive after the city’s benchmark index declined in the past two months.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by market value, added 0.2 percent after announcing plans to buy 20 percent in Taiwan’s Bank Sinopac. Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. (1929), a Hong Kong-based chain with more revenue than Tiffany & Co., rose 1.9 percent after retail sales in the city increased more than economists estimated. Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil producer, slid 0.9 percent as crude futures fell.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.1 percent to 22,389.12 as of 10:53 a.m. in Hong Kong after rising as much as 0.7 percent and falling 0.2 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.2 percent to 10,789.50, after rising 0.7 percent earlier. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has fallen the past two months amid concern China will step up measures to curb property prices and that Cyprus’s banking woes will reignite Europe’s debt crisis.

“While valuations are looking attractive, equity risk premium remain high,” said Khiem Do, Hong Kong-based head of Asian multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management Ltd., which oversees about $51 billion. “For the rally to be sustained, we need to see more growth surprises from China. Growth in China isn’t going to surprise on the upside as the new leadership is very focused on managing inflation.”

Volume on the benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) was about 22 percent below the 30-day intraday average for the time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares on the gauge traded at 10.8 times estimated earnings, compared with 14.2 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.7 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Burgos in Singapore at jburgos4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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