Overseas-listed Chinese stocks strong as 2021 kicks off, with domestic indices hitting 5-year highs

BEIJING — Stock markets in mainland China fell this week after its benchmark indexes recently hit five-year highs.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP,
-0.45%,
Shenzhen SZCP Component Index,
-0.56%
and large cap CSI 300 Index 000300,
-0.07%
all fell within the 1% range on Monday. They opened further on Tuesday.

Despite the austere start to the week, major Chinese stocks at home have recently been on a bull run. But what about abroad? Here are several overseas-listed Chinese stocks — those in the United States and Hong Kong — that had a strong 2021.

Baidu: China’s leading Nasdaq-listed search engine, Baidu Inc. BIDU,
-3.79%
had a solid 2020, but was particularly up last month amid a flurry of positive news. First, UBS cited improvements in its core focus areas, which is why the investment bank has upgraded it from a ‘neutral’ rating to a ‘buy’. But the share price has outpaced those gains in recent days amid rumors the company is finally confirming plans to produce electric vehicles – which it did over the weekend – announcing that it will partner with the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group GELYY,
+1.42%

175,
+5.17%,
which owns Lotus and Volvo among other brands.

Noah: Noah Holdings Ltd., which provides wealth management services to wealthy Chinese, has been on an uptrend for months. But its ADRs listed on the New York Stock Exchange NOAH have soared 70% since early December, just after the company announced a stock buyback plan, a move that often signals that a company’s management views the stock as undervalued. The bull run could slow, however, as JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the stock from “overweight” to “neutral” last week.

China Oilfield Services Ltd. : This oil services company listed in Hong Kong 2883,
+3.54%,
a subsidiary of public giant CNOOC PDG

883,
+0.87%,
has seen its shares soar nearly 17% this year, after making a profit of 2.5 billion yuan ($386 million) on revenue of 31.3 billion yuan last year. Analysts at energy specialists Argus mentioned, “The focus of Chinese state-controlled companies on shale gas, as part of China’s decarbonization plans, offers a silver lining for domestic oil service companies this year.” Commentators at Simply Wall St said a review of the company’s recent financials leads them to “expect China Oilfield Services to produce a higher profit next year.”

NetEase: Nasdaq NTES Listed Stocks,
-0.66%
of gaming and e-commerce company NetEase Inc. have jumped around 14% so far this year as the company continues to unload its financial services-related arms – an area that, underscored by government flogging of ‘Ant Financial, has come under scrutiny in China. Two weeks ago, NetEase announced it would shut down Youqian, which allowed users to manage their personal expenses through an app.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong:

Tencent: Nervousness over Trump administration’s attempts to hamper the 700,
+0.21%
A sprawling suite of products – including WeChat, China’s “everything app” – sent the Hong Kong-listed company’s share price plummeting in late December. But it has since won that loss and more, gaining around 5% this month. Part of the appeal of Tencent? Its extremely wealthy but discreet leader, Pony Ma, has avoid government scalping received by rival titan Jack Ma from Alibaba BABA,
-4.54%.

Sunny Optics: Other winners include Sunny Optical 2382,
+2.69%,
which manufactures camera lenses for many major Chinese phone makers. Its stock has risen 29% over the past month and hit a record high on Monday amid speculation that Apple AAPL,
-3.00%
will enlist it to produce some of the iPhone maker’s lens components.

Tanner Brown covers China for MarketWatch and Barron’s.

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