AIA, Tencent, Xiaomi – some of Hong Kong’s top listed firms – boost share buy-backs as bear market sets in

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by Zhang Shidong at

The biggest Hong Kong-listed companies from Tencent Holdings to AIA Group and Xiaomi have ramped up share buy-backs, just as Asia’s third-largest market flirts with bear-market territory.

At least 26 companies disclosed repurchases valued at HK$667 million (US$85.2 million) on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Securities Times, when the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) briefly entered a bear market and the benchmark Hang Seng Index was 2 per cent shy of the territory.

Insurer AIA, the Hang Seng Index’s biggest constituent with an 8.1 per cent weighting, spent HK$132 million buying back 1.73 million shares on Tuesday, while second-ranked Tencent, with an 8 per cent weighting, bought back 1.12 million shares for HK$352 million for a sixth straight day of repurchases, according to exchange filings. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi bought 2.2 million shares for HK$23.2 million after buying back the same number of shares a day earlier.

The slew of buy-backs may boost the fragile sentiment on the Hong Kong market, which has underperformed many of the world’s major stock benchmarks this year, as China’s reopening trade has fizzled out amid a dismal growth outlook and escalating geopolitical risks.

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