Hong Kong shares dropped on Monday, dragged by healthcare stocks, but investors were closely watching beleaguered developer China Evergrande, whose shares were suspended ahead of an announcement about a major transaction.
** The Hang Seng Index fell 2.25% to 24,022.64, while the China Enterprises Index lost 2.43% to 8,514.21. ** Mainland Chinese markets were closed for a public holiday. ** Embattled developer China Evergrande will sell a half-stake in its property management unit to Hopson Development for more than $5 billion, Chinese media said on Monday, after both Evergrande and Hopson requested trading halts ahead of a major transaction.
** Shares in Evergrande’s electric vehicle unit rose 10.6%.
** Property stocks fell but performed better than the broader market. The property sub-index dropped 0.43% and the mainland property sub-index lost 0.14%, while some developers’ shares lost ground, such as Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd which fell 5.85 %.
** A sub-index tracking healthcare stocks lost 4.74%. ** Market sentiment in Hong Kong is very fragile at the moment and the market is quick to any signs of bad news,” said Dickie Wong, executive director for research at Kingston Securities . ** Wong attributed the fall in healthcare stocks to news the Merck & Co had developed an experimental antiviral pill that could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19.
** The Hang Seng Tech Index fell 1.95%. (Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)