Hong Kong Stocks Rise to Two-Week High as Casinos Advance

Hong Kong stocks rose, with the city’s benchmark index rebounding from an earlier drop and capping its highest close in two weeks, as gaming and shipping companies advanced.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., the casino operator controlled by Lui Che-Woo, jumped 5.3 percent, leading gains on the Hang Seng Index. China Cosco Holdings Co. gained 2.7 percent as the nation’s biggest cargo line said it expects to swing to a full-year profit from a loss. Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest Internet company by market value, rose 3.2 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its rating on the stock.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.6 percent to 23,133.35 at the close, the highest close since Jan. 2. The gauge rose 1.3 percent for the week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies slid 0.2 percent to 10,167.28. China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.9 percent as a 43 percent surge in Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. in its Shanghai debut heightened concern that initial public offerings will divert funds from existing shares.

“We were trending lower when there was a massive futures-led rally which pushed the Hang Seng Index through the 23,000 level resistance, triggering a lot of short-stop losses and sending the market higher,” said Andrew Sullivan, a Hong Kong-based director of sales trading at Kim Eng Securities. “Not all stocks participated in the rally though, like Lenovo, which was actually sold down.”

Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s largest maker of personal computers, dropped 4 percent to HK$10.04 after yesterday climbing to its highest since April 2000.

Reverse Course

Futures on the benchmark index began to reverse course at about 10:56 a.m., surpassing the 23,000 level within five minutes as the Hang Seng Index also crossed that point. The Hang Seng Volatility Index dropped 4 percent to 13.87, indicating traders expect the benchmark equity index to swing 4 percent in the next 30 days.

Galaxy Entertainment rose 5.3 percent to HK$83.20. Lui became Asia’s richest person yesterday eclipsing real estate investor Li Ka-shing, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Sands China Ltd., a unit of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas gaming company, gained 3.5 percent to HK$64.95.

China Cosco rose 2.7 percent to HK$3.46 after saying it expects a profit for 2013, rebounding from a loss a year earlier on lower operating loss and gains from asset sale. China Shipping Development Co., a Shanghai-based commodities shipping company, increased 4.4 percent to HK$5.21, while port operator China Merchants Holdings International Co. rose 3 percent to HK$27.45.

Chinese Data

The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.7 percent this year. More than twice as many stocks gained as fell on the 50-member gauge today, with volume 22 percent more than the 30-day average. The H-share index declined 6 percent this year as data on China’s factory output and services industries fueled concern growth is slowing.

China is scheduled to release December data on property prices tomorrow, and reports including gross domestic product, industrial production and retail sales on Jan. 20.

Industrial-production gains slowed to a five-month low of 9.8 percent and GDP probably grew 7.6 percent from a year earlier in the October-December period, based on the median estimate of analysts.

“China’s economy is likely to continue slowing in the first quarter,” said Benjamin Tam, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at IG Investment Ltd., which oversees about $1.5 billion. “Chinese IPOs are also restarting which is adding more pressure to the liquidity shortage in the banking system and that’s negative for the markets.”

Tencent rose 3.2 percent to HK$529. Credit Suisse raised its rating on the stock to outperform from neutral, saying the company can tap into an estimated 18 trillion yuan ($2.98 trillion) electronic payment market in China.

Tom Group Ltd., the media company controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing, surged 33 percent to HK$1.85, its steepest jump since March 2000, after forming a joint venture for e-commerce in China.

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