Business & Economy

Hong Kong stocks climb 2.1 percent as Next Digital shares surge

Beijing, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- The Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday ended with a 2.11 percent rise in its benchmark indicator Hang Seng on the back of massive gains in the shares of the Next Digital media group, a day after the arrest of its founder.

Hang Seng rose 513.24 points on Tuesday to close at 24,890.68 points, while Hang Seng China Enterprises – the index that tracks the performance of companies from mainland China trading in Hong Kong – climbed 1.63 percent.

Gains were registered across all financial sectors on Tuesday, with the finance sub-index rising 1.83 percent, utilities gaining 1.15 percent, properties 2.04 percent and commerce and industry jumping 2.61 percent.

Shares of Next Digital – which publishes the pro-opposition newspaper Apple Daily – surged for the second consecutive day after its founder Jimmy Lai was arrested on Monday under the new national security law.

The media groups shares were the third-most traded on Tuesday and closed with gains of 331.37 percent, a day after rising 183.33 percent during Monday’s session.

The rise comes amid speculation over the possibility that Next Digital would be sold or get converted into a takeover target for other companies, while market sources have noted a strong wave of purchase of its shares by small investors sympathizing with Lai’s political positions.

Tech firm Tencent, the benchmark company for the Hong Kong stocks, grew 2.29 percent, while e-commerce giant Alibaba gained 0.66 percent.

Meituan Dianping, a company involved in food-delivery and other tech services, slumped 2.06 percent, while semi-conductor manufacturer SMIC dropped 0.36 percent.

In the insurance sector, Ping An jumped 0.49 percent, while in banking HSBC gained 3.02 percent.

The trading volume on Tuesday stood at 141.35 billion HK$ (approximately $18.24 billion). EFE-EPA


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