SHANGHAI, April 3 Hong Kong shares edged up to a
fresh three-week closing high on Thursday, buoyed by news the
Chinese government would increase investment in railways and
hopes that mainland investors may receive greater access to
stocks on the Hong Kong exchange.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.2 percent at
22,565.08 points, its highest closing level since March 7. The
China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese
listings in Hong Kong finished up 0.7 percent, after touching
its highest intraday level since Feb. 20.
Rail-related companies rose after China's cabinet announced
it would increase the total length of lines laid this year by 18
percent compared with 2013 and speed up projects that have
already been approved.
China Railway Construction Corp gained 7.1
percent, China Railway Group Ltd rose 5.1 percent and
China Communications Construction Co Ltd added 5.6
H-shares got a further boost form Chinese media reports on
Wednesday that Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd
(HKEx) had reached an agreement with the Shanghai bourse to
offer investors mutual access to each others' markets. HKEx
confirmed that it and its mainland counterparts were in talks
but said no agreement had yet been reached.
(Reporting By Natalie Thomas; Editing by Chris Gallagher)