Asia: Hang Seng surges after foreign investment comment



LONDON (ShareCast) - Stocks in Asia moved higher on Monday with the Hang Seng settling at a new twenty month high after Chinese regulators said the quota for foreign investors could be substantially increased.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was closed on Monday for the Coming of Age day after settling up 148 points at 10,801 in Tokyo on Friday. The Hang Seng advanced 149 points at 23,413.

Gains were sparked after comments from the head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission Guo Shuqing that the country could substantially boost the amount that foreigners are allowed to invest in local equity markets.

Hong Kong financial and property stocks made headway after the comments and stronger than expected Chinese trade data last week.

HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) rose 1%, Bank of China increased 1.65%, Bank of Communications added rallied 2.3% while insurer China Life gained 2.9% in Hong Kong. Ping An Insurance climbed 2.9% and ICBC rose 0.9% in Hong Kong.

China Resources Land (HKSE: 1109.HK - news) jumped 3.3% while China Overseas Land rose 2.9% in Hong Kong.

Among energy firms PetroChina advanced 1.7% while Cnooc (HKSE: 0883.HK - news) was up 0.86%. China Shenhua Energy rose 1.3%.

However consumer goods firm Li & Fung (Other OTC: LFUGF - news) bucked an otherwise upbeat day. Its shares plunged over 15% after it warned annual operating profit is expected to have fallen as much as 40% after it was hit by restructuring costs and extra money for its US division.