Wharf Leads Hong Kong Landlords Higher as Retail Worries Subside

  • Stock rises for seventh day in a row to highest since November
  • JPMorgan says negative sentiment on retail rents is easing

Wharf Holdings Ltd. led stocks of Hong Kong landlords higher Monday as JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the negative impact of falling retail sales is starting to ease.

Wharf, which owns the sprawling Harbour City shopping mall in the Kowloon district, rose as much as 8.4 percent to HK$46.95, the most since September on an intraday basis and the highest since November. The stock climbed 4.7 percent to HK$45.35 as of 10:29 a.m. local time, extending its rising streak to a seven-day, 9.5 percent advance. Hang Lung Properties Ltd. added 1.1 percent to HK$15.22, while Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd. gained 1.8 percent to HK$50.20.

The Hang Seng Properties Index advanced 0.7 percent, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index was down 0.3 percent.

Cusson Leung, the conglomerates and property analyst at JPMorgan, said Wharf’s recent gains reflect improving sentiment over the company’s prospects as the decline in retail sales is moderating and it may restructure its telecom assets. Retail sales in the city fell 7.5 percent in April from a year earlier, beating a median estimate for a 10 percent decline.

"There’s turning out to be a moderation in the decline of retail sales that will surprise the market on the upside," Leung, who has a buy rating on Wharf with a target price of HK$56.60, said.

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