Stock Talk

Market Wrap: Hang Seng up as 18th CPC concludes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 9:09pm

Hong Kong stocks rebounded from a four-week low in thin trade on Wednesday, as China completed its most important political gathering in a decade at which the nation’s new top leaders will be selected.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 253.34 points, or 1.20 per cent, to finish at 21,441.99. Turnover stood at HK$48 billion, compared to a 30-day average of HK$56 billion.

“Fund managers still hold a lot of idle cash and they need to build position before the year-end review. This is why it is very difficult to see deep consolidation in the market,” said Francis Kwok, executive director at Bright Smart Securities & Commodities Group.

The week-long Communist Party Congress concluded on Wednesday with the election of a new central committee. The congress, as it has had been widely predicted, confirmed Vice President Xi Jinping as the nation’s president for the next decade, with Li Keqiang firmly on track to be named as China's next premier.

The CPC central committee on Thursday will choose a new Politburo made up around two dozen members and a Politburo Standing Committee, the top decision-making body, with possibly seven members, a reduction from the current nine.

Financial shares advanced, with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK) gaining 2.82 per cent to close at HK$5.10. The financial sector was the biggest gainer among all sectors on the benchmark index.

Insurers, which have heavy investments in A shares, advanced on speculation that China's new leadership would bring another boost to the onshore market. New China Life Insurance (1336.HK) added 1.42 per cent to finish at HK$25.00.

The Shanghai Composite Index finished 7.53 points, or 0.37 per cent higher, at 2,055.42 on Wednesday.

Next Media (0282.HK) slumped 13 per cent this morning before trading was suspended on 10:08 am.

Taiwanese media reported that Taiwan's financial regulator was probing Next Media’s Taiwan asset sell-off deal, saying that buyer Jeffrey Koo Jnr cannot control or lead Next Media’s Taiwan business as it does not want financial industry executives to control or run media companies. Koo’s father is the founder Chinatrust Financial Holdings.

Next Media issued a profit warning on November 12.