Hong Kong shares close up 1 pct at 2-week high

HONG KONG Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:09am EST

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HONG KONG Nov 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares climbed to their highest in two weeks on Thursday, helped by strength in Chinese property-related counters as investors cheered official comments committing to a gradual implementation of property taxes.

The Hang Seng Index ended up 1 percent at 21,743.2, its highest close since Nov. 7. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent.

The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.8 percent off a one-week high set on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.7 percent as bourse volume dropped some 13 percent from Wednesday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Official media on Thursday quoted Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren as saying that the implementation of property taxes will be done gradually, fanning hopes of more structural reforms in the sector that could also see the removal of home purchase curbs by China's new leaders in the new year.

* China Overseas Land & Investment jumped 2.1 percent, creeping back towards an all-time high set on Nov. 5. China Resources Land soared 3.5 percent to its highest in almost three years.

* Hong Kong markets barely reacted to a preliminary survey of November manufacturing activity in China, which showed the country's vast manufacturing sector saw expansion accelerate in November for the first time in 13 months.

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