Banks slump after Morgan Stanley downgrade

Business | Bloomberg and Kevin Xu 10 Oct 2019

Hong Kong banks declined after Morgan Stanley cut their outlook.

Bank of East Asia (0023) slumped 4.5 percent to HK$18.16, while Hang Seng Bank (0011) lost 3.3 percent, closing at HK$159.80.

Morgan Stanley reduced its recommendation on the industry to cautious. It cut Hang Seng Bank and HSBC Holdings to underweight.

"We would continue to avoid the segment," analysts including Anil Agarwal wrote.

"The economy is slowing fairly quickly...with almost all key indicators meaningfully down year on year. This will pressure earnings in the second half and beyond."

Meanwhile, Bank of China's (3988) Macau Branch was expected to price a floating-rate note tied to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate yesterday. It would be the first foreign-currency bond from a Chinese issuer linked to the SOFR.

Separately, around a third of female entrepreneurs in Hong Kong still experience gender bias and face a long process for raising capital, averaging 9.7 months compared to 8.8 for their male counterparts, according to a new report from HSBC Private Banking.

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