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Stocks

Hong Kong stocks rise after China unveils top leaders

Tencent, CNOOC gain, while Lumina Group shares end unchanged on debut

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares closed higher on Wednesday for the first time this week, as China unveiled its top leadership for the next five years and investors looked ahead to third-quarter earnings reports.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.5% to 28,302.89, with oil producer CNOOC rising 2.5% and Geely Automobile Holdings gaining 2.4%. Index heavyweight Tencent Holdings climbed 1.3%. China Literature, an online publisher majority owned by Tencent, said after the day's market close that it will raise a maximum of 7.21 billion Hong Kong dollars ($923.9 million) in net proceeds from an initial public offering, which will open for subscriptions on Thursday. Ping An Insurance Group added 1.3% and China Life Insurance rose 0.8% ahead of their quarterly results this week.

Turnover on the stock exchange's main board was HK$78.5 billion, weaker than on most recent days. The Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday unveiled a seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, with five new members joining President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on its top governing body. Investors are awaiting details of government policies following Tuesday's conclusion of the 19th Party Congress.

"We expect coordinated policies to reduce financial risks, more institutionalized environment policies and accelerated" reforms targeting state-owned enterprises, Julia Wang, Greater China economist at HSBC Global Research, wrote in a report. The tone at a recent meeting of financial regulators suggests "risk prevention will be at the top of everyone's agenda in the coming years."

China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing last week said more regulations aimed at lenders were likely.

Analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch said the composition of the Standing Committee is "well-watched and over-analyzed as observers are keen to find clues on leadership styles, reform biases and future successors." However, it is "often quite challenging to draw conclusions on future policy changes based on leadership turnover."

Huaneng Power International rose 3.8%. The company said on Tuesday its net profit fell 38.2% in the third quarter. WH Group, the world's largest pork producer, added 3.2% after saying its subsidiary Smithfield Foods entered a cooperation agreement with e-commerce platform JD.com for the sale of fresh food during next month's Single's Day festival.

Shares of building fire-safety services provider Lumina Group ended unchanged from an initial public offering price of 46 Hong Kong cents on their trading debut on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market board of small companies. The stock rose as high as 49 Hong Kong cents earlier in the day.

Apparel maker Global Brands Group Holding fell 5.3%, trimming gains this month to 20%. Among other notable movers, HNA Holding Group surged 26% to 51 Hong Kong cents, its biggest single-day gain since February. The reason for the moves was not clear.

-- Amy Lam and Carrie Chen

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