Hong Kong Stocks Rise, Sending Hang Seng Index to Two-Week High

Hong Kong stocks rose, sending the Hang Seng Index to the highest level in two weeks, after Greece approved budget cuts that may help avert a default, increasing confidence in the banking system and exporters to Europe.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest bank by market value, gained 2.2 percent for the biggest advance since March. Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199), which operates container facilities at Greece’s Piraeus port, advanced 2.5 percent. Tibet 5100 Water Resources Holdings Ltd., a producer of bottled water, surged 27 percent in its trading debut.

“The passage of the Greek vote on austerity does clear off doubts regarding the liquidity situation for the time being, leading markets to feel a little better,” said Binay Chandgothia, a Hong Kong-based fund manager at Principal Global Investors, which manages more than $200 billion.

The Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent to 22,436.78, the highest intraday level since June 15, as of the midday trading break. The index is poised for a 1.2 percent advance this week. The stock market will be closed tomorrow for Hong Kong’s Establishment Day.

The Hang Seng has fallen 8 percent since April 8 and is set for its first quarterly decline in four, amid intensifying efforts by China to fight inflation and mounting concern Greece would fail to resolve its debt crisis. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou clinched enough votes yesterday to pass the first part of an austerity plan aimed at meeting European Union aid requirements and staving off default.

HSBC, a London-based bank, advanced 2.2 percent to HK$77.60, the biggest boost to the Hang Seng. Cosco Pacific increased 2.5 percent to HK$13.72. Hutchison Whampoa, which runs businesses from ports to supermarkets to communications, advanced 2.1 percent to HK$84.15.

China Oil Companies

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Chinese companies’ H shares rose 1.7 percent to 12,615.40.

Cnooc gained 1.9 percent to HK$18.18. PetroChina Co., a crude oil producer, increased 1.4 percent to HK$11.40. Oil companies advanced after crude prices traded near a one-week high. Crude oil for August delivery climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $95.32 earlier.

Tibet 5100 Water Resources surged 27 percent to HK$3.82 on its first day of Hong Kong trading. That compares with its initial offering price of HK$3 a share.

Futures on the Hang Seng Index advanced 1.5 percent to 22,458. The HSI Volatility Index, the benchmark gauge for Hong Kong stock options, dropped 10 percent to 18.49, the biggest intraday decline since March 21. The measure indicates traders expect a swing of 5.3 percent in the Hang Seng Index (HSI) in the next 30 days.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net; Lynn Thomasson in Hong Kong at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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