China property shares rise on financial support policy

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China property shares rise on financial support policy © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Under-construction apartments are pictured from a building during sunset in the Shekou area of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China November 7, 2021. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo

By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Shares of Chinese property developers rose on Tuesday after regulators extended some policies in a rescue package introduced in November to shore up liquidity in the embattled sector.

Analysts said while the extended policy could ease the short-term financial pressure on property developers and ensure their home project completions, new measures would be needed to tackle the cash crunch in the sector.

The sector has been hit by many company defaults amid a debt crisis since mid-2021, triggered by non-repayments of China Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted property developer.

The central bank on Monday said it would give developers an extra 12 months to repay loans due this year, with many private firms still struggling to access new capital despite policymakers’ aggressive support measures.

Markets expect more stimulus to be rolled out soon.

By 0316 GMT, Hong Kong’s Mainland Properties Index gained 1.8%, while China’s CSI 300 Real Estate Index edged up 0.1%.

Sunac China, Logan Group and KWG Group listed in Hong Kong were among the top gainers, rising 4%-5%.

Last November, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) put in place 16 measures to support the cash-strapped sector, including loan repayment extensions, to ease a deepening liquidity crisis.

On Monday, the PBOC said it would allow loans due this year to be repaid before the end of 2024.

Separately, it said the risk classifications of loans issued to support the delivery of unfinished projects before the end of 2024 will not be downgraded during their loan terms.

CGS-CIMB Securities estimated those loans could account for 30%-40% of developers’ total debts, so the measures could help their near-term liquidity.

“(They) are however not sufficient to solve the whole liquidity problem of developers,” the brokerage said.

Nomura said the “band-aid-style” policy support on Monday is unlikely to revive property sales, which have been weak for months, as it does little to restore home buyers’ confidence.

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