* CSI300 +1.5 pct; SSEC +1.6 pct; HSI 1.4 pct
* Hong Kong, China stocks cheer new cross-border investment scheme
* China’s IT, defence stocks surge on signs of policy support
By Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, May 26 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks jumped on Tuesday, flirting with seven-year highs, on expectations of more investment flowing from the mainland following Beijing’s moves to expedite cross-border investment.
They took cues from a buoyant China market, which continued to rise, led by a surge in tech stocks on signs of fresh policy support toward the sector.
Resuming trade following Monday’s holiday, the Hang Seng index added 1.4 percent, to 28,391.63 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index jumped 3.0 percent, to 14,867.21, touching its highest level since Jan 2008.
In Shanghai, stocks sustained strong upward momentum after Monday’s 3.4 percent jump. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.6 percent, to 4,892.73 points. The CSI300 index rose 1.5 percent, to 5,175.36 points, while the tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext surged more than 3 percent.
Both markets were apparently encouraged by a new cross-border investment scheme announced over the weekend that would allow funds domiciled in Hong Kong and China to be sold in each others’ market starting July 1.
The scheme, called mutual fund recognition, “will bring a fresh flood of mainland capital to Hong Kong’s market and is a big positive for the city’s stocks”, China Investment Securities (HK) said in a note to clients on Tuesday.
Lu Wenjie, a strategist at UBS Securities, estimates that Chinese investors could potentially pump 200 billion yuan ($32.3 billion) into Hong Kong stocks in the next two to three quarters, as Beijing is likely to guide excessive liquidity in the domestic market to Hong Kong.
China launched the landmark Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect last November and plans to roll out a similar investment link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen later this year.
Shares in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd jumped 5.4 percent to record highs on Tuesday morning, as investors bet that the bourse would benefit from accelerated opening of China’s capital markets.
In China, tech stocks jumped on fresh signs of government support. Shanghai announced an ambitious plan to build the city into a globally competitive technological innovation centre.
And Zhang Yujun, a senior securities regulator, urged brokerages on Monday to actively embrace the Internet.
Defence-related stocks also surged, after Beijing released its white paper on China’s military strategy.
The CSI300 banking index was flat, weighed by fears over the sector’s asset quality, after China’s banking regulator warned of rising credit risk from real estate, local government debt and unconventional forms of finance. (Editing by Eric Meijer)