DURING 1992, the Hongkong stock market broke records in trading turnover and cash-raising and the Hang Seng Index was sent to an all-time high. The index closed at a record high on November 12, at 6,447.11, in the euphoria following the Sino-US trade agreement and the removal of uncertainty surrounding the US presidency. Turnover for the year edged past the $700 billion mark for the first time. According to an unofficial figure issued yesterday by a brokerage, turnover was $702.85 billion, double the previous record of $350 billion, set in 1988. With the stock market bull run at full tilt during 1992, listed companies took the opportunity to tap the market for cash. A record sum was hauled in from share issues, covered warrant conversions, new listings, rights issues and placements. The total amount raised, according to unofficial figures from the stock exchange, was $46.74 billion to the end of November. With the December new listings, the figure rises to $48 billion, excluding money raised in warrant conversions. According to brokerage figures for the end of December, including estimates for warrant conversions, there was $14.5 billion of general fund-raising, $30 billion of placements and about $11 billion of rights issues and open offers. This takes the estimated total to $70 billion or 10 per cent of estimated market turnover for the year, well ahead of 1987 when $48.939 billion was raised. The Hang Seng Index rose 28.27 per cent on the year, having returned 50 per cent from the all-time high. Falling interest rates, widening bank margins and hence bank sector profitability, healthy export and re-export figures, strong domestic demand and high inflation which created a negative interest-rate environment, lay the foundations of the 1992 bull run. Property developers were also on a roll, with record prices being fetched per square foot in 1991 for new mass residential flats. The year's investment story was highlighted by the visit by China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to southern China, particularly Shenzhen, in the lead-up to the Chinese New Year. Hongkong Bank's recovery from losses among overseas subsidiaries in the spring also helped catapult the index. The eventual takeover of the Midland group by HSBC in the summer led to a new wave of foreign buying as index funds attempted to fully weight their holdings in the new FTSE 100 entrant. The Sino-US trade row cast a shadow during this period. But this hurdle and others were overcome with ease, including the Governor's maiden speech to Legislative Council, the Communist Party's 14th congress and the US presidential election. The Achilles heel of the bull run was the Sino-British public row over arrangements for the limited democratic elections in 1995. The dispute took some 20 per cent off the index, leaving it in the 5,200 to 5,500 range. Legco is due to vote on the arrangements in February.