Chinese stocks surged to a new high for 2014 Monday, after last week’s surprise interest rate cut by China’s central bank, slashing the one-year benchmark lending rate to 5.6 percent. In Hong Kong, ultra-luxury-end purchases are robust. Cathy Yang reported this story from Hong Kong.
At the property agent firm of Engel & Volkers in Hong Kong, brokers have seen renewed interest for new homes in the city. The firm is an advisor to Twelve Peaks and Opus, which are the most exclusive, priciest residential homes in Hong Kong.
“It’s a very valuable proposition for them because of the inheritance tax, wealth planning,” said Chris Liem, owner and principal of Engel Volkers about the growing interest in property. “It’s all based in Hong Kong, the culture is similar. So they’re always coming back to Hong Kong whenever they see value.”
Property is one of the first to benefit when interest rates start coming down. Beijing’s lending rate cut last Friday signaled the start of a rate cut cycle, which strategists say stimulates the flow of money benefiting all asset classes, especially sectors sensitive to interest rates. It was the first cut in more than two years. Before lowering of the rate, the People’s Bank of China used mini-stimulus measures to spur growth. While some reports said the government was taking bold steps to stabilize the economy, the central bank said the move doesn’t mean a change in the country’s monetary policy.
The Chinese central bank’s surprise rate cut also comes just days after the launch of the Stock Connect Scheme between Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Strategist Hao Hong of the BOCOM International Holdings Co. and believes that the rate cut will help raise liquidity further for cross-border trading.
“Within sectors, I think with better liquidity in the market, interest rate sensitive stocks should do well, but then keep in mind that many of these stocks have been somehow rallying prior to this move,” said Hao.