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=MARKET BUZZ: Insurers Help Hong Kong’s HSI Edge Higher; Shanghai Little Changed

HONG KONG (Oct 12) -- Hang Seng closes up 0.2% at 28,459.03, led by insurers. AIA Group advances 0.8%. “AIA is our top pick among Hong Kong-listed insurers,” Morgan Stanley says in note. House says AIA will maintain 25% CAGR growth in VNB (value of new business) and that it will continue to command valuation premium to its peers. In mainland insurers, Ping An Insurance Group adds 2.8%, New China Life Insurance and PICC Property and Casualty jump by 4.9% or more. “I am not sure of the reason for the strong rally in Chinese insurers today. But the overall near-term earnings outlook for them look good considering China’s recent deleveraging efforts,” First Shanghai Securities chief strategist Linus Yip says. Cathay Pacific Airways advances 2.9% after Goldman Sachs keeps buy rating on stock and adds it to conviction list. New World Development up 2.4%, as HK property developers rebound from yesterday’s losses that came amid disappointment over no mention of farmland conversion in city chief executive's policy address. WH Group amongst top losers on HSI, down 2.7%; UBS reportedly downgrades stock to “neutral” citing margin pressure on US business. Shanghai Composite closes little changed.

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