China's Risks Rattle Global Stocks and Drag Hong Kong into Bear Market

August 21, 2023: China’s Risks Rattle Global Stocks and Drag Hong Kong Into Bear Market, down 2.1% in the Friday session and more than 20% below the highs of January, as luck more than China’s property market and growth prospects obliterate gains.

On Friday, the further losses came following news that embattled Chinese real estate firm Evergrande kept filed for bankruptcy to protect in a U.S. court.

The corporation sought protection under Chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, which shields non-U.S. companies undergoing restructuring from creditors.

On Friday’s decline for the Hang Seng index witnessed some of the region’s most prominent companies close in the red, with Tencent down 2.34%, Alibaba down 3.44%, and HSBC clearing 1.1%.

A bear market is a prolonged price downturn that sees a broad market index drop nearly 20% from its most recent peak. The Hang Seng index closed at 17,950.85 on Friday, down 20.88% from 22,688.9 on January 27.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, stated that the filing in itself would have prompted “some alarm in isolation,” but combined with peer Country Garden’s conclusion earlier this week to suspend payments on some of its bonds from Monday, “the words ‘dominos’ and ‘falling’ start to come to mind.”

On Tuesday, JPMorgan presented its emerging markets corporate high-yield default forecast primarily because of the rising contagion fears around China’s property sector, which the Wall Street Bank hopes to account for nearly 40% of all default volumes in 2023.

Evergrande plunged into default in 2021 and announced an offshore debt restructuring program in March this year, but Country Garden has a more extensive portfolio of property results.

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