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Optimism gives market a boost

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose in the morning session after the central bank's governor said the economic slump in the world's third-largest economy has been basically brought under control.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.54 percent, or 12.77 points, to close at 2,374.47 points. Turnover stood at 93.41 billion yuan (US$13.74 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 464 to 369 and 38 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.78 percent to close at 780.07 points.

Leading economic indicators were recovering, proving that the government had been acting rapidly and forcefully compared to those in other major economies, the People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said.

Zhou's comments were echoed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who yesterday said China's economy will be the fastest in the world to recover and advised investors to consider buying stocks and property.

Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co surged by the 10 percent daily limit to 31.28 yuan after the government said it will give subsidies to fund solar projects. This year the government will offer a 20-yuan per watt subsidy for solar projects with a generating capacity of at least 50 kilowatts, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement posted yesterday on its Web site.

PetroChina Co, the nation's biggest oil company, added 0.86 percent to 11.77 yuan. The world's second-largest company by market value is seeking shareholder approval to sell as much as 100 billion yuan in bonds to fund operations, investments and adjust debt structure.

China Shipping Container Lines Co gained 5.28 percent to 4.19 yuan. The country's second-largest carrier of sea-cargo boxes plans to return leased vessels to reduce capacity by 4 percent, Chairman Li Shaode told yesterday.

Henan Yuguang Gold & Lead Co, the world's biggest lead producer said profit dropped 61 percent to 61.3 million yuan last year because of lower metal prices and production cuts. The stock dipped 2.72 percent to 14.64 yuan.

Shanghai Jinjiang International Hotels Development Co, China's largest hotel operator, said it plans to sell a 7 percent stake in a KFC restaurant venture it has with Yum! Brands Inc. The stock added 2.1 percent to 13.95 yuan.

Yunnan Aluminium Co, China's fifth-largest producer of the light metal, said it plans to raise as much as 1.2 billion yuan with the private placement of as many as 200 million shares. The stock added 5.5 percent to 8 yuan.


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