September 27, 2018 / 8:37 AM / 19 days ago

Hong Kong shares end lower after banks lift benchmark rates

* Hang Seng -0.4 pct, HSCE -0.4 pct

* Commercial banks raise lending rates for first time in 12 years

* Property sub-index ends 0.8 pct lower

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Shares in Hong Kong closed lower on Thursday after Hong Kong raised its base rate, prompting commercial banks to lift their benchmark rates for the first time in 12 years, and as new data showed slowing industrial profit growth in China.

** The Hang Seng index ended down 0.4 percent at 27,715.67, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.4 percent weaker at 10,938.97 points. ** Hong Kong commercial banks raised their benchmark lending rates on Thursday for the first time in 12 years, increasing the cost of home mortgage repayments in one of the world’s most expensive property markets. ** A sub-index tracking property firms ended down 0.8 percent on concerns that the rise in banks lending rates could increase the cost of mortgage repayments for many homeowners. Sino Land Co Ltd ended down 1.2 percent. ** Global index provider FTSE Russell said it will start including mainland Chinese shares in its major benchmarks from June next year, in a move that it expects will draw initial net inflows of $10 billion from passive investors. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended 0.1 percent higher, while the IT sector closed down 1.24 percent and the financial sector ended 0.02 percent lower. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Hang Seng Bank Ltd, up 2.11 percent, while the biggest loser was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which was down 4.46 percent. ** Investment bank China Renaissance plunged almost 20 percent on its Hong Kong stock market debut on Thursday, becoming the latest Chinese listing in the city to trade below its IPO price and potentially weigh on upcoming flotations. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.5 percent at 2,791.77 points, while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.4 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 0.99 percent weaker. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8771 per U.S. dollar at 0824 GMT, 0.03 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.8791. ** As of previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was down 7.03 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was down 6.2 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 0.26 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Railway Group Ltd , which ended 2.95 percent firmer, followed by Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which closed up 2.03 percent and CITIC Ltd, which ended 1.61 percent higher. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were GF Securities Co Ltd, which ended down 3.98 percent, China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, which closed 3.9 percent lower and China Resources Land Ltd, which ended down 3.9 percent. ** About 1.49 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 82.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.81 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.41 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 19.95 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 10.68 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3.4 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Hang Seng index has fallen by 0.74 percent to HK$18.08 trillion. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.38 percent on the day at 5,053.05 points. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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