Hong Kong shares hit 16-mth closing high as China plays rally

HONG KONG Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:04am EST

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HONG KONG Dec 12 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares reached a 16-month closing high on Wednesday, widening their outperformance over wobbly mainland-listed peers, as stepped-up merger activity and a strong showing overnight on Wall Street encouraged investors to extend a recent rally.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.8 percent at 22,503.4. The China Enterprises index of top locally listed mainland firms rose 1.5 percent.

In China, the CSI300 closed up 0.4 percent at 2,267.77. The Shanghai Composite also rose 0.4 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Guoco Group, a holding company which has investments in financial services, property and leisure businesses, saw shares surge more than 30 percent after its major shareholder offered to take the company private.

* Sands China rose 2.9 percent and Galaxy Entertainment jumped 3 percent after brokerage Credit Suisse named the two as among its favoured Macau picks. Credit Suisse expects Macau gambling revenue in December to grow as much as 31 percent from a year earlier.

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