HK stocks climb to another record after interest rate cut The Hong Kong share market closed at a record high yesterday despite news that the much-anticipated individual mainland investors programme would see limits placed on how much cash punters could put in local shares. The Hang Seng Index fell in the morning following the decline in United States markets as investors took profit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.35 per cent lower on Thursday while the S&P 500 Index lost 0.67 per cent. An after-lunch rally saw the Hang Seng close up 142.65 points or 0.56 per cent at 25,843.78. It has risen 3.8 per cent this week. The H-share index closed at a new record of 15,693.66 points, after rising 0.91 per cent. It rose 6.7 per cent for the week. Turnover hit HK$132.38 billion, short of the record of HK$138.74 billion set on Wednesday. 'Performance this week was helped by the US cut in interest rates and Hong Kong banks' cut and I think there is still cause for further cuts in the future, which will boost liquidity and the index further,' said Michael Wong, a research director at Hantec Investment Holdings. The US Federal Reserve slashed rates a larger than expected 50 basis points on Tuesday and local banks followed the next day with a cut of 25 basis points. HSBC, Bank of China and Hang Seng Bank now have a prime lending rate of 7.5 per cent while the city's other banks have 7.75 per cent. The central government plans to limit the amount of money mainland investors can park in Hong Kong equities as part of the new investment plan to reduce pressure on the yuan, according to comments from China Banking Regulatory Commission chairman Liu Mingkang. Since August 20 when the plan was announced, the Hang Seng Index has risen 19 per cent. Estimates of the amount of money set to flood the market have run as high as US$100 billion. 'The market did not fully reflect this factor [yesterday],' Mr Wong said. 'This can change the fund flow to Hong Kong and we expect it will be an excuse to sell later next week.' BOCHK vice-chairman and chief executive He Guangbei said at a seminar yesterday that the 'through train' scheme could be complementary with the qualified domestic institutional investor scheme, as some investors might prefer their investment managed by a professional fund manager. 'The train is there, it just needs the green light,' Mr He said. The Tianjin branch of Bank of China is a charter member of the new scheme, whereby investors have to open an account before they can buy Hong Kong shares. The day's biggest blue-chip mover was Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, which gained 12.01 per cent. Coal miner Hidili Industry International Development saw its shares jump 77.45 per cent on their trading debut. CNOOC, the mainland's largest offshore oil company, rose 2.93 per cent on higher oil prices. Next month's crude oil futures contracts hit a record intraday price of US$83.90 on Thursday. On the mainland stock markets, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.28 per cent lower while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 0.5 per cent, as inflation fears spooked investors. For the week, the CSI 300 Index, which follows shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, finished 1.3 per cent higher.