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Dow Jones Newswires: Stocks of Chinese property developers rise after PBOC signals support

Shares of several Chinese property developers rose in Hong Kong morning trade Monday, following their latest profit guidance for the first six months, with rate cuts by the People’s Bank of China also buoying the sector.

Agile Group Holdings Ltd.

jumped 7.7%, CIFI Holdings (Group) Co.

advanced 9.2% and Seazen Group Ltd.

gained 2.8%.

The Hang Seng Mainland Properties index was last 1.8% higher at 2334.49. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index

was recently up 0.1%.

All three property developers warned of a decline in first-half profit, citing a sluggish real-estate market and the pandemic, but they appeared to be holding up relatively better than some of their peers.

Agile Group expects first-half profit to fall 51%-57% to between 2.30 billion yuan ($337.4 million) and CNY2.60 billion. CIFI projects a 59%-72% slide in first-half profit to CNY1.50 billion-CNY2.20 billion, although it adds that its gross-profit margin was stable and that it recorded positive net cash from operating activities.

Seazen Group expects its first-half profit to fall 38%-42% to CNY1.70 billion-CNY1.80 billion.

In contrast, Country Garden Holdings Co.

last week said it expects net profit for the first six months to fall at least 93%, while Central China Real Estate Ltd.

forecast swinging to a loss of CNY5 billion-CNY6 billion for the period.

Sentiment toward the sector has also been lifted by further supportive measures by the government. On Monday, the PBOC cut its five-year loan prime rate to 4.3% from 4.45%, and its one-year LPR to 3.65% from 3.7%.

“Most home mortgages are linked to the [five-year] loan prime rate. So this rate cut is obviously to reduce the burden on borrowers,” ING Bank’s chief China economist Iris Pang said in a note.

China’s state-run media Xinhua reported on Friday that policy banks will provide special loans to support the construction of presold homes facing overdue delivery.

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