Hong Kong, mainland stock markets end higher - RTHK
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Hong Kong, mainland stock markets end higher

2020-02-17 HKT 18:41
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  • The Hang Seng Index rose 144 points or half a percent to close at 27,959. Image: Shutterstock
    The Hang Seng Index rose 144 points or half a percent to close at 27,959. Image: Shutterstock
Markets in Hong Kong and across the border rose on Monday, as the mainland ramped up support to cushion the economic blow from the Covid-19 outbreak.

The latest step by the central bank to lower one of its key interest rates and inject more liquidity into the system calmed nervous investors.

Also whetting risk appetite was an announcement on Sunday that Beijing will roll out targeted and phased tax and fee cuts.

Reacting to the news, the Shanghai Composite Index and the blue-chip CSI300 index each rallied more than two percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 144 points or half a percent to close at 27,959, after briefly crossing the key 28-thousand level during trading.

Most 50 blue chips ended higher. Geely Automobile surged just over 4 percent.

Tech shares were also buoyant, with Sunny Optical and AAC Technologies each gaining more than 2 percent.

A focus of the market was cosmetics chain Bonjour. Its shares resumed trading following a two-week suspension.

The company announced a change of the controlling shareholder before the market opened on Monday morning.Its vice chairman Chen Jianwen, who is the second-largest shareholder, plans to buy a stake of about 40 percent, from chairman Wilson Ip and his wife Chung Pui-wan for HK$158 million.

After the deal, Chen's stake will rise to almost 60 percent, breaching a threshold set by the stock market operator that he must offer to buy the remaining shares from other investors at the same price.

Bonjour shares surged almost 70 percent during trading. They finished the day up nearly 14 percent to 14.1 cents.

In other regional markets, shares retreated as the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic continued to weigh on investors.

The Nikkei Index in Japan dropped 0.7 percent. Taiwan slipped 0.4 percent. Singapore was down 0.2 percent and South Korea ended flat.