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Bank of East Asia jumps most in six years as Li raises stake

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[BEIJING] Bank of East Asia Ltd, the Hong Kong lender targeted by billionaire Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp, jumped the most in six years after a major shareholder increased his stake in the company.

The shares rose as much as 10 per cent to the highest in six weeks and traded at HK$25.50 as of 1.07pm local time. Chairman David Li bought 110,000 shares last week, raising his holding to 86.74 million shares, according to disclosure filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

Bank of East Asia rejected earlier this month a call by Elliott Management to consider selling itself even after posting a bigger-than-expected profit drop. The company intends to focus on improving and executing on what it already has, it said Feb 15.

Mr Li bought 100,000 shares at an average HK$22.28 each on Feb 16 and a separate 10,000 shares at an average HK$22.35 apiece on Feb 17, the filings showed. Bank of East Asia didn't immediately respond to a phone call and an e-mail seeking comments.