HONG KONG, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Chinese property shares jumped on Wednesday, as a report that authorities plan to provide at least $137 billion of new funding to prop up the embattled housing market fuelled hopes of more stimulus.
The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index gained 4.3% in late morning trades, with China Evergrande Group and Sunac China surging 9.7% and 7.6%, respectively. Country Garden firmed 5.4%.
Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday China plans to provide at least 1 trillion yuan of low-cost financing to the nation's urban village renovation and affordable housing programs, citing people familiar with the matter.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will inject funds in phases through policy banks, with the money ultimately trickling down to households for home purchases, the report said, through options including the so-called pledged supplemental lending (PSL) and special loans.
"If confirmed, this announcement would be directionally consistent with our expectation that policymakers would step up support to the property sector and in particular towards property construction activities next year," Goldman Sachs said in a note.
"We think additional broad-based monetary policy easing is still needed to facilitate the large amount of government bond issuance and improve sentiment towards growth."
China's property sales fell at a faster pace in October and investment in real estate slumped, official data showed on Wednesday, suggesting the crisis-hit sector has yet to emerge from its decline despite Beijing's recent support efforts.
China has quickened the pace of policy stimulus in recent months, including cutting mortgage rates and lifting home-purchasing curbs, in an effort to boost homebuyer demand amid a deepening debt crisis in the property sector.
Nomura Chief China Economist Ting Lu said while "Beijing might have finally recognized the need to introduce quantitative easing or money printing for the collapsing property sector", the biggest hurdle for a real property recovery is the large scale of pre-sold but unfinished homes in low-tier cities.
"We believe Beijing will eventually need to reach into its own pockets, with printed money from the PBOC (such as PSL), to fill up the vast funding gap and secure the delivery of pre-sold homes," Lu said. (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)