HONG KONG Dec 28 Hong Kong shares crept to their highest close in almost 18 months on Friday, with investors rotating into Chinese non-banking financial counters after the central bank pledged faster reforms in the sector.
The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.2 percent on the day and 0.7 percent on the week at 22,666.6, its highest closing level since July 8, 2011.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent on Friday and 1.3 percent this week.
The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings ended up 1.5 percent on the day and 4.6 percent on the week at 2,480.1. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent on Friday and 3.7 percent this week.
* With just half a day of trade to go in 2012, the Hang Seng Index is up 23 percent on the year after slumping 20 percent in 2011. The China Enterprises Index is up 14.5 percent after sinking 22 percent last year.
* Chinese brokerages soared after China's central bank pledged to quicken the pace of reforming and opening up the sector in 2013, while preventing systemic risks. Citic Securities surged 10.7 percent to a record high since its October 2011 high, while Haitong Securities soared 6.9 percent.
* Belle International, a leading China-focused footwear retailer, gained 2.8 percent after the state-run China Securities Journal newspaper reported that Beijing could introduce new measures to boost consumption ahead of the annual party congress in March.