• HK bans poultry imports from U.S. on avian influenza
By Wang Xiaoni
Hong Kong has banned the import of poultry meat and products from Douglas County, State of Oregon in the United States, in view of a notification from the American authority about an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in the noted area, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) said here on Monday of December 22.
A CFS spokesman said Hong Kong will be in close liaison with the American authorities over the issue and will closely monitor information issued by the World Organization for Animal Health on avian influenza outbreaks in the country.
Appropriate action will be taken in response to the development of the situation, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said about 220,000 tons of frozen poultry meat and about 426 million poultry eggs were imported into Hong Kong from the United States from January to October this year.
• HK stocks close 1.26 pct higher
By Wang Xiaoni
Hong Kong stocks ended up 1.26 percent on Monday of December 22, with the benchmark Hang Seng index rising 291. 94 points to end at 23,408.57 points, after trading between 23,264. 05 and 23,478.90. Turnover totaled 100.98 billion HK dollars ( about 12.98 billion U.S. dollars).
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 343.83 points, or 3. 02 percent, to close at 11,744.02.
Four sub-indices all gained ground, with the Finance sub-index rising the most by 1.72 percent, followed by the Properties 1.04 percent, the Utility 0.98 percent and the Commerce and Industry 0. 80 percent.
Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed up 0.7 percent to 74.10 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank rose 0.5 percent to 128.30 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX increased 0.80 percent at 172. 00 HK dollars.
Local developers Hang Lung Properties added 0.9 percent to 21. 55 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, closed up 1.2 percent to 52.40 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, climbed 0.2 percent to 129.70 HK dollars.
As for mainland-based financial stocks, China Construction Bank, the country’s second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, jumped 3.4 percent to 6. 33 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, went up 3.4 percent to 5.55 HK dollars. Bank of China advanced 3.8 percent to 4.33 HK dollars.
PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was up 4.1 percent to 8.72 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)
• Gold price closes lower in Hong Kong
By Wang Xiaoni
The gold price in Hong Kong went down 5 HK dollars to close at 11,085 HK dollars per tael on Monday of December 22, according to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society.
The price is equivalent to 1,199.09 U.S. dollars a troy ounce, down 0.54 U.S. dollars at the latest exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar against 7.75 HK dollars.