Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares stumbled past the finish line Friday as they wrapped their first week of trading in the Asian financial hub. But the stock has still managed to score double-digit gains since its debut.
Shares of the Chinese e-commerce company closed down 2.75% at 198.40 Hong Kong dollars ($25.35) on Friday. But the stock is still up nearly 13% from where it was priced when Alibaba first started trading in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
The public offering is a big boost of confidence for the Asian financial hub, which has been rattled by months of pro-democracy protests. Alibaba’s secondary listing was the biggest share sale in the world so far this year.
Positive news was hard to find elsewhere in the region. Stocks broadly slumped in Asia, led mostly by Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index. The Hang Seng ended 2% lower — losses weighed down by the health care sector, which was the biggest loser.
Drug makers in particular sank after China announced the latest additions to its national reimbursement list, a tally of drugs that can be covered by the state’s insurance plan.
The government added 70 new drugs to the list after their manufacturers agreed to cut prices by an average of 61%, according to China’s national health care agency.
A drug’s addition to the list could be seen as a way to help its maker boost sales. But it’s not necessarily good news for every company. Price cuts can eat into profitability. And not every product sells well enough to offset the steep price cuts, analysts at Citi Research wrote in a research note.
The worst performer on the Hang Seng index was CSPC Pharmaceutical Group, which sang 9.7%. Sino Biopharmaceutical was second, posting a 4.9% slump.
Other major Asian indexes were also lower on Friday. Investors may still be skittish after US President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong protesters, which could complicate trade talks with China. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.6%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.5%.
South Korea’s Kospi index declined 1.5%. The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady on Friday at its last policy meeting of the year. It was in line with analyst estimates, according to financial data provider Refinitiv. The bank said in a statement that it will carefully monitor developments in the US-China trade talks and geopolitical risks while judging whether to adjust its monetary policies.