China Vanke Co. and Gemdale Corp. paced losses among shares of Chinese developers on concern a suspension of discounts for first-time mortgages will weigh on property sales.
Vanke, China’s largest developer by market value, sank 1.6 percent to 9.07 yuan at the close of Shenzhen trading. Gemdale slumped 2.5 percent in Shanghai, pacing a 0.7 percent retreat on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Property Index. The measure was the biggest decliner among the five industry groups making up the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by market value, suspended a 15 percent discount on mortgages for first-time home buyers nationwide, the official Xinhua News Agency reported May 5. The decision, made primarily to address liquidity tightness and deposit instability, may be followed by the other large Chinese lenders including China Construction Bank Corp. and Bank of China Ltd., according to Religare Capital Markets.
The change “is likely to cause some short-term dampening in sentiment towards China property stocks and some potential buyers,” Karen Kwan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Religare, said in a note today. Still, the brokerage remains positive on Chinese property as the move isn’t a change in government policy, she wrote.
The Shanghai property index has rallied 23 percent this year, outpacing the 11 percent gain in the Shanghai Composite Index, even as home prices declined. March home prices fell in a record 37 of 70 cities tracked by the government, as officials pledged to keep restrictions on property purchases that have sapped buyer demand.
Shares of developers with the largest land banks in Chongqing and Shanghai are the “most vulnerable,” Religare said. These include Hong Kong-traded Shui On Land Ltd. and C C Land Holdings Ltd., according to the brokerage.
Shui On Land dropped 1.8 percent to HK$3.27. C C Land dipped 5.9 percent to HK$1.60, the largest loss since March 1.
— With assistance by Shiyin Chen