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Hong Kong stocks jittery as Evergrande chairman suspected of ‘illegal crimes’

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Hong Kong stocks post fourth straight weekly decline as crisis at property giant China Evergrande intensifies

Hong Kong stocks posts a loss for the fourth week in a row and ended the quarter in the red as the debt crisis at China Evergrande intensifiedOverseas investors sold 66 billion yuan (US$9 billion) of onshore Chinese stocks this month after a record outflow of 89.7 billion yuan in AugustHong Kong stock marketJiaxing LiPublished: 10:33am, 29 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Hong Kong stocks edged up on Friday, trimming this week’s losses but sentiment remained jittery as the debt crisis at developer China Evergrande deepened, triggering concerns among foreign investors about broader financial risks in the property sector.

The Hang Seng Index gained 2.5 per cent to 17,809.66 on Friday to recover from a 10-month low, while the Tech Index jumped 3.8 per cent. Markets in mainland China are shut, marking the start of the 10-day long Golden Week holiday closure.

Alibaba Group gained 3.1 per cent to HK$85.60, Tencent jumped 3 per cent HK$306.20 and JD.com rallied 3.6 per cent to HK$115.10. NetEase rose 5.5 per cent to HK$159.50 while Meituan strengthened 3.4 per cent to HK$114.60.

Friday’s rebound helped narrow the benchmark index’s losses this week to 1.4 per cent, after Beijing’s piecemeal stimulus policy failed to shore up investor confidence. The Hang Seng Index has tumbled 5.9 per cent over the past three months, after losing 7.3 per cent in the second quarter.

Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer with US$327 billion of liabilities, said on Thursday its chairman Hui Ka-yan had been placed under “mandatory measures” for unspecified crimes, throwing its make-or-break US$20 billion restructuring in doubt. The measures typically include house arrest, among others.

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