Ctrip Tops Drop Amid Holiday Travel Booking CompetitionBelinda Cao
Ctrip.com International Ltd., China’s biggest online travel agency, led a second day of declines for Chinese equities in New York on concern competition among travel agencies is increasing.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. slid 1.5 percent to 103.08 yesterday for a weekly drop of 2.5 percent, the largest in three weeks. Ctrip tumbled the most since November while rival Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. jumped 11 percent after saying air travel bookings reached a record over the New Year holiday. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. posted the biggest weekly gain in a year.
Qunar, the Beijing-based travel website that has surged 99 percent since its November U.S. debut, said in a statement yesterday its single-day air-ticket booking reached a record of more than 60,000. Shanghai-based Ctrip said in November that air ticketing services was the biggest contributor to a 31 percent jump in third-quarter revenue.
“Ctrip normally faces competition pressure only on the hotel booking side from Qunar, but Qunar’s surging air-ticket booking volume in this statement is a surprise,” Henry Guo, an analyst at ABR Investment Strategy LLC who has buy ratings for both companies, said by phone yesterday from San Francisco. “These online travel agencies will compete more aggressively in January as we draw close to the Lunar New Year holiday.”
The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., slipped 1.2 percent to $36.66 in New York, retreating 4 percent for the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed as investors weighed comments from Federal Reserve officials on stimulus and the economy’s strength.
Ctrip’s American depositary receipts sank 7.9 percent to $45.53 in New York, slumping the most since Nov. 6. Trading volume was 2.8 times the 90-day average compiled by Bloomberg. Its 13 percent drop this week was the most since Nov 22.
Qunar’s ADRs surged to $29.92, the highest level since its IPO on Nov. 1. Elong Inc., China’s second-largest travel-booking website whose biggest shareholder is Expedia Inc., added 0.9 percent to $20.53 yesterday, rising 2.9 percent in its fourth week of gains. The Lunar New Year holidays are set to start on Jan. 31.
Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc., China’s largest budget hotel chain operator, sank 3.6 percent to $41.94, extending a weekly drop of 4 percent, which was the most since June.
Guangzhou-based YY Inc., owner of a social entertainment website, soared 11 percent to $58.02 in New York, the highest level since its U.S. debut in November 2012. It gained 15 percent this week, the most since July.
Yingli, the biggest solar-panel maker, rallied 5.3 percent to $6.61, taking its advance for the week to 38 percent, the biggest jump since November 2012.
Average prices for polysilicon, the key raw material for making solar panels, extended weekly gains to climb to the highest level since October 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Suppliers raise prices as they see “solid downstream demand,” PV Insights said on its website Jan. 2.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index in Hong Kong dropped 3.6 percent this week to 10,436.76, the largest weekly decline since October. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.9 percent for the week to 2,083.14.