China shares hit 5-year high, property stocks up on mortgage policy changes

China stocks rose to their highest in five years on Monday led by a jump in the property sector as investors welcomed mortgage-policy changes in Beijing and Guangzhou designed to help the troubled sector. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China stocks rose to their highest in five years on Monday led by a jump in the property sector as investors welcomed mortgage-policy changes in Beijing and Guangzhou designed to help the troubled sector. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China stocks rose to their highest in five years on Monday led by a jump in the property sector as investors welcomed mortgage-policy changes in Beijing and Guangzhou designed to help the troubled sector.

Beijing Housing Provident Fund Management Centre, a local government agency that provides housing loans, said on Sunday that it had raised the upper limit on the loan cap for property, effective this month. Other local governments, including Guangzhou, have taken steps to help home buyers.

The CSI300 index rose 2.0 per cent to 3,603.95 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4 per cent to 3,312.82 points. Both indices hit their highest level since December 2009.

"Investors are still bargain-hunting for blue-chips and the news of mortgage policy also lifted the property sector," said Xiao Shijun, an analyst at Guodu Securities in Beijing.

The sub-index of property jumped 3.8 per cent.

Shares related to coal also outperformed, which analysts attributed to cheap valuations. More than 10 coal mining companies, including Shanxi Xishan Coal and Electricity Power, Yongzhou Coal Mining company and Datong Coal Industry Co, jumped by their 10 per cent daily limit.

Hong Kong shares edged up, lifted by financials.

The Hang Seng index added 0.5 per cent, to 23,976.04 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.0 per cent, to 12,365.28.

"If A-shares continue to rise the rest of the day, more Hong Kong investors will chase up the gains ... the momentum will become stronger as Hong Kong shares are trading at discounted prices compared to their A-share listings," said Patrick Yiu, a director at CASH Asset Management in Hong Kong.