Business / Markets

Mainland cash swells HK index

By XIE YU (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-10 07:14

Mainland cash swells HK index

A man walks near an electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, April 9, 2015. [Photo / Xinhua]

Investors from the Chinese mainland, pouring money into the Hong Kong stock market for the second consecutive day, helped lift the benchmark index to new highs on record-breaking turnover.

The torrent of cash pouring into the market through various channels is known to have prompted mainland authorities to consider raising the daily quotas for two-way trade under the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect program sooner than expected.

After appearing to have been neglected for months by investors on both sides, the program-introduced in November-has suddenly sprung to life.

The Hong Kong market's explosive performance in the past two days is being seen by observers as demonstrating the power and influence of closer integration with its mainland counterpart.

Hong Kong stock exchange chief Charles Li said, "This is only the curtain raiser."

The Hang Seng Index rose by nearly 4 percent to a seven-year high of 26,236 on Wednesday on record turnover of HK$250 billion, up more than 900 points from the previous trading day last week. On Thursday, the index rose by 2.7 percent to reach 26,944.39 on turnover of HK$ 291.5 billion.

The 10.5 billion yuan ($1.69 billion) daily investment quota of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program was used fully on both days.

Brokerage sources said the securities regulator is considering raising or scrapping the daily quota for the stock connect programs and is listening to feedback from market players.

Media reports said the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program, expected to be launched before June, is likely to scrap the daily quota.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped by 1 percent to 3,957.53, as small chips slumped on Wednesday. The index rose by 13 percent in March.

Analysts said "smart money", individual investors and mutual funds are flocking to the Hong Kong market for discounted H shares and for opportunities from the upcoming Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program.

With the Shanghai Composite Index rising by 90 percent in the past year, compared with a 15 percent gain for the Hang Seng Index, mainland A shares appear expensive, while offshore stocks look cheap and attractive.

A shares are listed on exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen and are available largely only to domestic investors. H shares, which are listed on the Hong Kong exchange, are available to local and international investors. But in both cases, the origin of business should be the mainland.

In the United States, Chinese stocks are also making a strong comeback.

Nineteen US-listed Chinese companies, including Yan-zhou Coal Mining Co, online video platform Youku Tudou and e-commerce cosmetics retailer Jumei International Holding rose by more than 10 percent on Wednesday, compared with a 0.15 percent advance by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Francis Chen, 34, who works at a bank in Shanghai, said: "The Hong Kong market seems so lucrative. It seems to be warming up with more southbound investment and I am not going to miss this opportunity."

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