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Tencent’s additional investment in the newly created entity points to heated competition with rival ticketing app Taopiaopiao owned by tech behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.. Pic: AP

Hong Kong stocks climb to 18-month high, Tencent jumps

HONG Kong stocks closed at an 18-month high on Thursday, with sentiment boosted by Wall Street’s ongoing rally and demand from China.

The benchmark Hang Seng index added 0.5 percent, to 24,107.70 points, the highest since August 2015, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 10,455.02 points.

Analysts said sustained southbound inflows had helped the Hong Kong stock market. Chinese investors, including mutual funds and major insurers, have been steadily increasing their allocations, as regulators on the mainland tighten investments in wealth management products and other risky assets.

Robert Di, founding partner of hedge fund manager RPower Capital, said the outlook on Hong Kong stocks was improving, and the enthusiasm would likely continue for a while.

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“If the Hang Seng can break through the 24,000-point level effectively, then, the bull market is established,” Di said.

Mainland investors used 2.1 billion yuan (US$306.21 million) on Thursday, or 20.1 percent of the daily quota, compared with an average of less than 11 percent in January and 25.6 percent on Wednesday.

A gauge of tech stocks added 1.8 percent at the close after receiving a boost from index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd

The internet giant rose 2.6 percent after media reports said it was in talks to invest in Indonesia’s biggest mobile ride-hailing and delivery service Go-Jek. – Reuters