Most Chinese Stocks Rise as Utilities, Ping An Insurance Rally

Jan 16, 2014 3:06 am ET

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Most Chinese stocks rose as Guangdong Electric Power Development Co. led a rally for power producers after saying profits doubled. Insurers and material companies also gained, while automakers declined.

Guangdong Electric climbed 1.5 percent. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., China’s second-biggest insurer, advanced the most in two months after saying it’s now offering financial services through an online platform. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., also known as Chalco, jumped 1.5 percent. Great Wall Motor Co., a maker of sport-utility vehicles, slumped 3.8 percent, extending losses this week to 9.8 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index added less than 0.1 percent to 2,023.70 at the close, with three stocks rising for every two falling. The index has slumped 4.4 percent this year amid concern the resumption of initial public offerings will divert funds. The China Securities Regulatory Commission has started spot checks on pricing of IPOs, while China Wafer Level CSP Co. said it will postpone plans to sell shares in Shanghai.

“The market will get some support around the 2,000-point level as the securities regulator has sort of slowed the IPO sales pace and cracked down on high pricing,” said Wang Weijun, a strategist at Zheshang Securities Co. in Shanghai. “The market is likely to fluctuate.”

The CSI 300 Index advanced 0.1 percent to 2,211.84. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slipped 0.2 percent. The ChiNext index of small-company stocks slid 1.4 percent after briefly surpassing a record close. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index fell less than 0.1 percent in New York yesterday.

IPO Outlook

The Shanghai index trades at 7.6 times 12-month projected earnings, the cheapest going back to at least 2007 based on weekly Bloomberg data. Trading volumes were 13 percent below the 30-day average and the lowest in a year, Bloomberg data showed.

Guangdong Electric gained 1.5 percent to 4.63 yuan. The power producer said 2013 profit may have jumped as much as 100 percent because of lower fuel prices and investment gains. Huadian Power International Corp. rose 1.1 percent to 2.90 yuan after it reported a 12 percent jump in electricity output. Shanghai Electric Power Co., supplier of a third of the city’s electricity, climbed 3.6 percent to 4.66 yuan.

Ping An rose 3.8 percent to 41.22 yuan, the biggest gain since Nov. 18. The insurer started to provide its traditional financial services through an online platform, according to an e-mailed statement.

Foreign Investment

Foreign direct investment advanced 3.3 percent in December, accelerating from the previous month’s 2.4 percent gain, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website today.

The statistics bureau is scheduled to release data for fourth-quarter economic growth on Jan. 20. Growth probably decelerated to 7.6 percent from 7.8 percent in the previous quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey of 34 economists.

Chalco, the listed unit of nation’s biggest maker of the lightweight metal, gained 1.5 percent to 3.29 yuan. Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co., China’s biggest producer of rare earth, added 2.6 percent to 22.01 yuan.

The CSRC has started spot checks on pricing of initial public offerings with 13 main underwriters and 44 institutional investors, according to a statement on its website yesterday. Underwriters included China International Capital Corp. and Haitong Securities Co. The securities regulator has approved 52 companies for IPO sales since it ended a year-long freeze last month, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. will start trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange tomorrow, becoming the first company to trade shares publicly after the IPO halt, according to an exchange statement. The maker of industrial valves raised 1.5 billion yuan ($248.1 million) from new share sales.

Great Wall Motor, China’s biggest maker of sport-utility vehicles, retreated 3.8 percent to 35.87 yuan, taking its decline this week to 9.8 percent after the automaker pushed back the debut of its Haval H8 to fix technical deficiencies.

--Zhang Shidong. Editors: Allen Wan, Richard Frost