HONG KONG (Bloomberg) - Hong Kong's exchange operator headed for a record close and brokerages surged on optimism that policy changes in China will spur inflows into the city's equities.
Shares of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. jumped 4.5 per cent as of 10:43 a.m. local time. Brokerages Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. and Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. climbed at least 4.5 per cent, outpacing the benchmark Hang Seng Index's 1.4 per cent advance.
Hong Kong's bourse operator and securities dealers are among the biggest beneficiaries of China's efforts to open up its capital markets. Regulators said on Friday they will start cross-border sales of funds on July 1, allowing as much as 600 billion yuan (S$130.37 billion) of investments. Separately, policy makers will scrap the aggregate quota for Hong Kong-Shanghai stock link purchases and expand the number of eligible Hong Kong shares when a similar program starts with Shenzhen, Ming Pao reported Tuesday, citing unidentified people.
"If those funds are selling in Hong Kong and also Hong Kong can sell in China, that will increase business for brokers," said Louis Tse, a Hong Kong-based director at VC Brokerage Ltd. "That could increase turnover at HKEx."
The exchange operator is leading gains on the Hang Seng Index this year, soaring 79 per cent. Daily average turnover on HKEx's main board surged to HK$142 billion (S$24.62 billion) this month through Friday, from HK$54.6 billion in the same part of 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.