Hong Kong stocks fell, with the benchmark equity index retreating from a three-month high, as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (601398) dropped after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was said to sell its stake in the lender.
ICBC fell 1.8 percent after a person familiar with the matter said Goldman ended its investment in the world’s biggest bank with a $1.1 billion share sale. PICC Property & Casualty Co. sank 2.7 percent after China’s largest non-life insurer announced a rights offer. GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., the world’s No. 1 maker of polysilicon used in solar panels, rose 9 percent on a report the U.S. is in talks with the European Union and China to settle a dispute over the trade of solar-energy equipment.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) slipped 0.2 percent to 23,439.94 as of 10:11 a.m. in Hong Kong, retreating from its highest close since Feb. 4. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies dropped 0.5 percent to 11,127.40.
“We could see a 5 to 8 percent correction as markets have become somewhat extended,” Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which oversees $126 billion, said on Bloomberg Television. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty hanging around China.”
The 2013 GDP growth forecast for China was reduced to 7.7 percent from 8 percent at UBS AG, which said structural reforms will take time to implement and have an effect on the economy.
The Hang Seng Index, this year’s third-worst performing developed market, has climbed 3.7 percent this year through yesterday, compared with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s 17 percent gain. Hong Kong’s benchmark index traded at 11.2 times estimated earnings, below its five-year average of 12.6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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