China: Anhui Conch most shorted stock amid economic concerns

China: Anhui Conch most shorted stock amid economic concerns
Published: 07 October 2016


Shares in Anhui Conch have become the most shorted on the Hong Kong stock exchange as doubts grow over the sustainability of China’s property boom, Bloomberg reports.

Disagreements over the future path of the Chinese property sector have led to Anhui’s shares being shorted at a level five times higher than was the case earlier in the year. While some investors are betting that a cooling property market will bring down the cement firm’s share price, other analysts think the company’s prospects are better than ever.

"It really boils down to how China’s property market will perform in the face of stricter curbs. There’s strong Chinese demand for cement, driving up Anhui Conch’s share price and prompting brokerage houses to upgrade their recommendations. This view collides with the central government’s recent restrictions imposed on the housing market which are worrying investors," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core-Pacific Yamaichi Hong Kong.

Of the 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, 19 were recommending that investors buy Anhui’s Hong Kong-listed shares.

“As long as property prices remain where they are now, developers will continue to sell as much as they can. Fourth-quarter demand especially for cement will remain definitely strong. I am pretty confident until the first half of 2017 that the property market will still grow. Beyond that, it really depends on how hard the government will crack down,” said Po Wei, a Hong Kong-based equity analyst.