HSI futures fall on fears of security law

Business | Agencies and Stella Zhai 22 May 2020

Hang Seng Index futures fell more than 360 points after the benchmark ended 120 points lower yesterday at 24,280, while the Hong Kong dollar weakened 40 basis points on news that Beijing was to introduce a national security law for the city.

Contracts on the HSI traded at more than 410 points below the closing figure as of 9pm before paring their losses.

The law, which will be presented to the National People's Congress today, is expected to mark a turning point for Hong Kong, potentially triggering a revision of its special status and likely to spark more unrest.

Shares of tech firms and chip makers fell. Alibaba (9988), which is currently exempt from being audited by US firms, fell 2.27 percent to HK$206.20.

Chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing (0981) fell 7 percent on rumors the company may be required not to accept orders from Huawei Technologies. The company later clarified that this was false.

Mainland automaker BYD (1211) lost as much as 3 percent after mainland media reported that founder Wang Chuanfu had resigned as the company's chairman legal representative.

Local apparel retailer Bossini International (0592) rose 98.8 percent to HK$0.50, a week after it announced the sale of 66.6 percent of its shares to Viva China (8032), owned by Li Ning's family holdings, at HK$0.043 per share.

Shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388) rose 2 percent to HK$271 in hopes more mainland companies will seek to trade their stocks in the Hong Kong stock market.

Meanwhile, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) said a recovery in the mainland catering sector is expected to extend to the second half this year.

The year-on-year decrease in sales of catering operators narrowed from 40 percent in the first quarter to 30 percent in April.

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