Innovative sets pace in march of red chips

RED chips figured prominently in yesterday's trading as the All Ordinaries index gained 76.62 points to close at 5,460.47.

The All Ordinaries rose 1.42 per cent while the Hang Seng Index gained 2.08 per cent, and turnover remained low at $5.1 billion.

The best performing stock yesterday was Innovative International, which gained 9.09 per cent to close 30 cents higher at $3.60.

Innovative is one of the largest manufacturers of car accessories such as antennas and the personal fans popular with truck drivers in Hong Kong.

More recently the company has been involved in property and manufacturing in Tianjin, and some analysts suspect that yesterday's increase might be related to its property ventures in the region.

Mainland computer distributor Legend Holdings continued its march upwards, gaining 7.06 per cent to close 15 cents higher at $2.275.


Legend, listed on the exchange last Monday, has jumped more than 70 per cent from its initial offer price of $1.33.

The company, an offshoot of the China Academy of Science, has the distribution rights to leading computer brand names in China.

Most analysts said the company was fairly priced around the $2.20 mark, but strong buying interest is pushing the stock up.

By contrast, Legend's main competitor, Stone Electronic, dropped 5.09 per cent to close 15 cents down at $2.80.


BZW assistant director Nial Gooding said the counter closed down as investors switched their funds from Stone to Legend.

National Mutual moved up 10 cents to $4.50 on rumours that one of the large brokerage houses may be considering a covered warrant on the stock.


Red chip China Aerospace moved ahead 4.81 per cent to close 12.5 cents higher at $2.725.

The firm produces electronic components such as LCDs, audio equipment, PABX telephone systems and television sets on the mainland.

Analysts say one reason for the increase in the stock price may be the recent visit to the company's headquarters in China by a group of Hong Kong fund managers.


Sime Darby was the fourth best performing stock yesterday, pushing ahead 5.7 per cent to close up 70 cents at $13.

The company is involved in distributing luxury motor vehicles including BMW and also in construction through its heavy equipment division.

A positive outcome on the airport financing talks would improve earnings in the company's heavy construction equipment division, which would reap a bonanza when construction goes ahead.


Building company Yau Lee Holdings was the biggest loser on the exchange yesterday, shedding 7.94 per cent to close at 58 cents.

Also performing poorly was pharmaceuticals manufacturer Mandarin Dragon, which posted a 7.14 per cent drop to close four cents down at 52 cents.

Sharp Brave, closed sharply down at 65 cents, from 69 cents.

The company, which manufactures pocket calculators and hard-held games, has dropped from 94 cents a month ago.