Hong Kong stocks end 1.50% lower
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HONG KONG, March 4 AFP
March 04 2013, 9:10PM
Hong Kong shares have fallen 1.50 per cent in line with a big sell-off in mainland markets after Beijing introduced fresh measures to curb rising property prices in China.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index shed 342.41 points on Monday to 22,537.81 on turnover of HK$82.84 billion ($A10.53 billion).
The losses wiped out most of the gains from the previous session.
China announced on Friday that homeowners who sell their properties will have to pay a capital gains tax of 20 per cent on their profits.
Homeowners were previously taxed one to two per cent of the sale price.
The government also ordered the central bank to raise downpayments and mortgage lending rates for buyers of second homes in some cities, and told local governments to limit non-residents from buying more than one home.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended down 3.65 per cent, or 86.11 points, at 2,273.40 on turnover of 143.0 billion yuan ($A22.66 billion), its weakest finish since January 11, when the index ended at 2,243.00.
"Before Friday, there was still the question as to whether controlling the property market will remain a policy priority for the new government. This latest announcement should remove any doubt," UOB KayHian said in a note.
"Either the property market will have to cool down or more measures will be introduced until the objective is achieved," UOB said, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
In Hong Kong, China Overseas Land tumbled 7.1 per cent to HK$21.45 and China Resources Land slumped 8.9 per cent to HK$20.60, while Sunac China closed down 9.9 per cent at HK$5.28 and Greentown China fell 9.5 per cent to HK$13.40.
The news also hit construction firms. Anhui Conch Cement dropped 4.8 per cent to HK$27.80 and China National Building Material fell 3.1 per cent to HK$11.76.
However, Castor Pang, research head at Core Pacific-Yamaichi, said "this is just a correction, a pause in the market's uptrend".