Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing soars to become world’s largest exchange operator by market cap

24 Jul, 2020 02:16
source: South China Morning Post

Singularity Financial Hong Kong July 24, 2020 – Hong Kong’s stocks were on fire Tuesday, with the exchange operator’s shares surging to make it the world’s largest exchange operator by market capitalization, following Ant Group’s plan to list in the city and Shanghai.

Alibaba Group Holding, to which Ant Group is affiliated, and exchange operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) paced the gain after index compiler Hang Seng Indexes Co. announced plans to launch a gauge to track the biggest hi-tech stocks
trading in the city next week. HKEX shot up 9.8 per cent for the biggest gain in five years, with trading volumes 63 per cent above the 20-day average. It closed at a record high of HK$380, bringing its year-to-date gain to 50 per cent.

HKEX is now valued at US$62 billion, while the London Stock Exchange, which

rejected the HKEX’s overtures to buy it a year ago, is smaller, in fourth place.

The Hang Seng Index added 2.3 per cent, or 577.67 points, to 25,635.66 at the close for its biggest gain since July 6.

Ant Group, which operates the Alipay online payment platform for the world’s largest e-commerce company, is still discussing the size and timing of the share sale, but the outcome is likely to be one of the largest initial public offerings in years. Analysts are valuing the provider of the Alipay service at more than US$200 billion, higher than China Construction Bank and just short of Bank of America’s market capitalization.

Moody’s Investors Service raised the 2020 earnings estimates for China’s internet companies by as much as 10 per cent, citing more time and money consumers spend online during the pandemic. The rating service firm said that carmakers and energy producers were the hardest-hit industries, cutting their earnings projections by between 15 per cent and 30 per cent.