Hong Kong's Hottest Stock in 2018 Is a Chinese Agricultural Bank

(Bloomberg) -- Talk about rotation: a typically dull Chinese banking stock has turned into a surprise investor darling in Hong Kong this month.

Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. has surged 17 percent this month to be bigger than Citigroup Inc. and hotter than Tencent Holdings Ltd. A gauge of buying momentum for the Beijing-based lender climbed to 90 on Wednesday, the highest among the almost 500 members of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite Index and a record for the stock.

Hong Kong's Hottest Stock in 2018 Is a Chinese Agricultural Bank

The rally in the bank -- one of China’s largest -- illustrates a shift in sentiment as investors pile into financial companies that lagged behind last year’s gains in benchmark indexes. Bank of China Ltd. is also up 11 percent in January, almost matching its advance for the whole of 2017. AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., which doubled last year, is little changed.

Agricultural Bank had a market cap on Tuesday of $204 billion, a fraction above Citigroup and closing in on HSBC Holdings Plc.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.