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HK property shares shine bright

HONG Kong shares advanced yesterday as laggard stocks continued to play catch up, while local property developers were snapped up as data showed record new mortgage lending.

Hong Kong shares climbed 1.8 percent to finish at a near 11-month closing high of 20,624.54 in a fourth session of increases yesterday.

"There is only one explanation, money, money and more money," said Andrew To, sales director with Taifook Securities. "If you are short on the market, it's okay but if you are long, this is not the time to buy."

Cement maker BBMG Corp will make its debut today after its US$768 million share sale was heavily oversubscribed.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 372.92 points to 20,624.54, its highest closing level since early September 2008. The index vacillated between a near 11-month high of 20,664.48 and a low of 20,109.55.

Turnover rose to HK$84.8 billion (US$10.9 billion) from HK$80.9 billion on Monday.

Property stocks extended gains, with New World Development up 4.4 percent and Hang Lung Properties gaining 3.9 percent. New residential lending in the territory soared to its highest on record in June, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, amid low interest rates and new launches.

The China Enterprises Index, which represents top locally listed mainland stocks, closed 1.93 percent higher at 12,424.58, led by a 3.8 percent increase in major lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.


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