September 30, 2019 / 9:07 AM / 21 days ago

HK stocks buoyed by AB InBev's unit debut; suffer worst quarter in 4 years

* Hang Seng, H-shares both up 0.5%

* AB InBev’s Asia business rises 6% on trading debut

* Trade war, protests lead to worst quarters since September 2015

* HK markets closed on Oct.1 for National Day holiday

HONG KONG, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares firmed on Monday, driven by AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit which rallied on its debut, but posted their worst quarter in four years as local unrest and Sino-U.S. tariff war show no signs of easing. ** The Hang Seng index closed 0.5% higher at 26,092.27 points. The benchmark accumulated losses of 8.6% over the past three months, marking its worst quarterly fall since the third quarter of 2015. ** The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.5% on Monday, but was down 6.3% quarter-on-quarter, its worst quarterly fall since the fourth quarter of 2018. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.6%, the IT sector lost 0.1%, the financial sector rose 0.7% higher and the property sector gained 0.5%. ** AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit, which raised about $5 billion after relaunching its IPO this month, rose more than 6% on its market debut in Hong Kong, easing concerns of the impact of ongoing anti-government protests on new share offerings. ** In a potential escalation of the trade war with Beijing, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, three sources briefed on the matter said on Friday. ** Hong Kong is on edge ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Tuesday, after police fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who set fires and threw petrol bombs over the weekend. ** Local financial markets will be shut on Oct. 2 for the National Day holiday and will re-open on Oct. 3, Wednesday. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.6%. ** About 1.34 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 984.28 million. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.68% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Aditya Soni

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