In the healthcare sector, China’s NMPA has accepted Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group's [2196:HK] application to start phase I clinical trials on a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, named BNT162b. Germany-based BioNTech [BNTX:US] has authorized Fosun to exclusively develop and commercialize the vaccine in China. BNT162b targets people aged 18 and above. In the finance sector, CBIRC reportedly is asking some Chinese commercial banks to keep their 1H20 net profit growth at a moderate rate. Some banks have received notice to keep the growth rate at a single-digit figure. CBIRC aims to push banks to increase their loan loss provisions and build up strength to cover future financial risks. A-share markets declined today. SHCOMP dropped 1.56% to 3,361.30, SICOM decreased 1.87% to 13,734.13 and CSI 300 fell 1.29% to 4,744.47. ChiNext Price Index slipped 1.60% to 2,813.06. The Hang Seng Index lifted 0.01% today to 25,481.58.
In other financial news, China’s National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF) sold 42.43m A-shares of Bank of Communications’ (BoComm) [3328:HK] for a total of over HKD230m. NCSSF hence reduced its holding of BoComm’s A-shares from 9.09% to 8.98%. In the telecom sector, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the country to fully remove Huawei equipment from the UK's 5G networks by 2027. The British government also asked domestic telecom carriers to stop buying 5G products from the Chinese company in 2020 and to start replacing existing Huawei devices within the next seven years.