29 de febrero de 2016 / 5:53 / en 2 años

China stocks slump as funds seen migrating to property

* SSEC down more than 4 pct, CSI300 -3 pct

* Analysts see 1st tier property markets cannibalizing capital

* Earnings in high-growth stocks disappoint - analysts

* G20 seen as lacking substance

By Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney

SHANGHAI Feb 29 (Reuters) - Chinese investors bailed out of stocks on Monday on worries that funds were migrating from shares into property and disappointing earnings among high-growth companies.

The fall adds to losses accrued from a similar sharp drop last week, when indexes ended down more than 6 percent in a single day, as Beijing’s efforts to salvage a stock crash last summer continue to lose steam.

The CSI300 index fell 3.0 percent, to 2,859.10 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 3.4 percent, to 2,673.36 points. At one point, the SSEC was down as far as 4 percent.

The Shanghai index is pressing against the intraday support level in late January around 2,638 points, and remains well below the false bottom it found in August, when the Chinese government unleashed a massive market intervention to return the market to a “reasonable bull market.”

The botched response to the crash was widely seen as throwing Beijing’s competence to manage a modern stock market into question and the government subsequently replaced the chief stock regulator earlier in the month, but the change has done little to restore confidence so far.

Analysts blamed much of this morning’s drop on weekend news about Shanghai property, with media showing investors queuing up at government buildings to register new sales.

Key real estate indexes outperformed the wider market but ended the morning session slightly down, with analysts warning that signs of overheating investment in first-tier property markets - in particular Shanghai and Shenzhen - signalled the beginning of a longer migration out of China’s volatile stocks into property.

“Money keeps flowing out of stocks, where investors see little reason to go upward further,” said Shen Weizheng, fund manager at Shanghai-based Ivy Capital, arguing that the “wealth effect” of investors moving their spare cash into cities such as Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou was diverting liquidity out of stocks.

Underscoring renewed feverishness in property markets in certain cities after recent measures to support the sector, the Shanghai government has asked residents not to hurry in trading houses and vowed to continue to curb speculative purchases.

Official data showed home prices in the southern city of Shenzhen in January jumped 51.9 percent from a year earlier, followed by Shanghai with a 17.5 percent increase, even as prices in third- and fourth-tier cities dropped.

WEAK EARNINGS

Investors were also dismayed by signs the shine was coming off the high-growth, high tech stocks on China’s ChiNext Growth Board in Shenzhen, highly favoured by retail investors looking for quick profits.

Over 300 companies listed on ChiNext published their preliminary earnings results for 2015, causing that index to lose over 7 percent. Traders said data shows growth does not live up to investor expectations.

“Profit growth is weak, and doesn’t justify current valuations, especially for small-caps,” said Samuel Chien, a partner of Shanghai-based hedge fund manager BoomTrend Investment Management Co.

“There’s still a big bubble in the stock market. Many shares are not worth that much.”

Although ChiNext has roughly halved from its June peak, the index still trades at 62 times companies’ earnings, about three times more expensive than its U.S. counterpart, the Nasdaq 100 .

Investors also complained that the G20 meeting held in Shanghai over the weekend lacked substance.

“The market is disappointed that there were no concrete agreements from the G20, just rhetoric,” said Chang Chenwei, analyst at Hengtai Futures.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong dropped 1.0 percent, to 19,179.84 points in the morning session.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.2 percent, to 7,939.13.

Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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