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China Developers Fall on Property Curb Concerns: Shanghai Mover

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- China’s property stocks had their biggest drop in more than six months, on renewed concerns that the government will issue more curbs to cool the real estate market.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Property Index lost 4.6 percent at the close of trading, its biggest drop since Aug. 2. China Vanke Co., the biggest developer listed on mainland exchanges, declined 4.3 percent to 11.20 yuan in Shenzhen, a one-month low. Poly Real Estate Group Co., the second largest, sank 5.1 percent to 12.22 yuan, the lowest since Dec. 21.

China may introduce more policies to curb property prices before or after the National People’s Congress annual session next month, as several cities tightened credits of housing provident fund loans, China Business News reported today, citing researchers. Home sales in China’s 10 biggest cities almost quadrupled to 8.5 million square meters (91.5 million square feet) in the first five weeks from last year, property data and consulting firm China Real Estate Information Corp. said in an e-mailed statement today.

“There’s expectation for more tightening measures as property prices in some cities are still rising,” said Zhu Jixiang, a Shanghai-based analyst at CSC International Holdings Ltd. “Still, bigger companies like China Vanke, Poly Real could potentially benefit and increase market share with increased tightening.”

In Hong Kong, state-owned China Resources Land Ltd. fell 4.4 percent to HK$21.50, the most in more than half a year at the close of trading. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. lost 3.3 percent to HK$15.08, the lowest since Jan. 2.

Should there be any policy changes after the NPC meeting in March, those would come mainly in the form of re-emphasis of strict implementation of existing policies or policy fine-tuning during early stages, said Johnson Hu, a Hong Kong-based property analyst at CIMB-GK Securities Research, in a report.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bonnie Cao in Shanghai at bcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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