Shares on the Hong Kong exchange surged 2.5 percent yesterday to close at 20,979, after the mainland announced on Friday it would allow qualified domestic institutional investors (QDII) to invest in overseas stocks.
The rally brought the daily turnover value to a record of HK$95 billion.
The Hang Seng Index jumped 597 points in the morning session to 21,066 points, before closing at 20,979, a 511 point increase from the last trading day.
The market's two biggest movers, HSBC and China Mobile, gained 1.31 percent and 3.95 percent respectively to close at HK$146.9 and HK$73.75.
State-owned shares stole the limelight yesterday, with the mainland company indicator China Enterprises Index (CEI) peaking at an all-time high of 10,964 points. The index closed at 10,948 points, up 556 points or 5.36 percent.
The CEI's spark pushed all of the index's members upward, with seven out of 40 members jumping by more than 10 percent. Copper producer Jiangxi Copper surged 18.9 percent of HK13.44.
A report from Taifook Securities pointed out that the A- and H-share dual listed stocks would benefit most from the QDII news.
"Given the large discount in price of the H shares comparing with the A shares, it seems more capital will flux to Hong Kong to narrow the discrepancy," the report said.
Joseph Yam, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's chief executive, said the increase in spectrum of QDII products will boost the mainland's capital investing in Hong Kong equities. He expected the measure to boost the flow of liquidity between the two markets.
However, Ricky Tam, chairman of Hong Kong Institution of Investors, expects the effect of QDII to fade in the short term. "But we believe the index is able to climb to 21,500 points in the future in the light of the strong daily turnover," Tam added.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission last Friday announced it would allow QDII domestic commercial banks to invest in overseas equities on behalf of clients invested in wealth investment products.
The banking regulator launched QDII products last April in hopes of reducing excessive foreign exchange reserve pressure. The measure has experienced lukewarm response so far: just 3 percent of the US$13 billion worth of quotas have been used.
Shanghai Composite Index also rose 0.61 percent yesterday to 4,046.
(China Daily May 15, 2007)