Hong Kong stocks rise to 3-week highest close

18:17, February 23, 2010      

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Hong Kong stocks Tuesday rose 1. 21 percent to the highest close in nearly three weeks, as local real-estate developers gained on optimism the city's economic growth accelerated and shipping companies advanced on higher rates.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended up 245.73 points at 20,623, the highest closing level since Feb. 3, after falling as much as 1. 3 percent in early trade. The China Enterprises Index, which tracks the H-shares of Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies, closed up 0.87 percent at 11,619.68.

Turnover was 60.13 billion HK dollars (about 7.75 billion U.S. dollars).

Local developers continued to lead the rise. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., which won the city's first government land auction for the year Monday, added 3.43 percent. Henderson Land Development Co., a developer controlled by billionaire Lee Shau- kee, advanced 4.19 percent. Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, rose 1.01 percent.

China Shipping Development, a dry-bulk shipment operator, jumped 4.56 percent. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, rose for a fifth day Monday in London, extending its gains to 6 percent. China Cosco Holdings Co., the world's biggest operator of dry-bulk ships, advanced 1.78 percent.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. lost 1.97 percent, tracking declines in its Shanghai-traded stocks, after the Chinese insurer giant said 859.8 million A shares held by three shareholders will become tradable on March 1. Ping An plunged nearly 9 percent in Shanghai as the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.69 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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