Property Stocks Lead China Rally as Stimulus Measures Lift Mood

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(Bloomberg) — Chinese stocks jumped after the nation rolled out further property support measures, the latest in an intensifying campaign to rescue to beleaguered sector that’s been dragging down the economy.

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The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained as much as 3.6%, with property names Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. and China Resources Land Ltd. leading the advance. A Bloomberg Intelligence gauge of developer shares surged more than 8%. The CSI 300 Index of onshore China shares rose 1.7% to add to its gains Friday, when Hong Kong’s stock market was shut due to a typhoon.

China is taking bigger steps to showcase its policy determination after a slew of piecemeal measures to support the housing market failed to halt a slide. The nationwide minimum down payment will be uniformly set at 20% for first-time buyers and 30% for second-time purchasers, while mega-cities including Beijing eased mortgage requirements for some homebuyers — loosening barriers for property ownership in some of the country’s most prized locations.

“We believe this will trigger a short-term rebound in sales among all tier-1 cities, as this unlocks some previously suppressed upgrade demand,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts including Karl Chan wrote in a note. While momentum can cool afterwards, “this easing can still at least stabilize sentiment, which is an essential first step in avoiding further deterioration,” they said.

Home transactions in China’s biggest cities soared over the weekend following the loosening of mortgage rules last week, according to several local media reports Monday. Over 1,800 units of new homes were sold in Beijing on Saturday alone, compared with just 3,100 units for entire August, the reports said.

READ: China Cuts Down Payment, Mortgage Rates in Stimulus Drive

Shares of Country Garden Holdings Co. soared 17%. The distressed builder has wired a coupon payment coming due on a ringgit-denominated bond, according to people familiar with the matter. For the CSI 300, energy and materials sub-indexes led the advance.

Chinese builders’ dollar bonds rose at least 2 cents Monday, according to credit traders. As of 10:29 a.m., Dalian Wanda Group Co. unit’s 7.25% note due 2024 rose 5.9 cents to 68.2 cents Monday after gaining 14 cents last week, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

Beijing has been rolling out new stimulus measures on an almost daily basis over the past two weeks, including the first reduction since 2008 in the stamp duty for stock trades and a cut to existing mortgage rates. While not enough to dispel deeper worries over China’s structural economic slowdown and the property market’s relentless troubles, the measures have nonetheless helped lift sentiment.

“Given that the market was closed on Friday, this is the reaction to the mortgage rate cuts announced last Thursday which may provide some support to consumer disposable income and sentiment,” said Marvin Chen, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

–With assistance from Jeanny Yu and Wei Zhou.

(An earlier verion corrected name of index in the second paragraph.)

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