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HK: Shares end higher after boost from China Unicom, energy firms

[SHANGHAI] Hong Kong shares finished higher on Monday, supported by strong performance in energy and telecoms firms after China Unicom's ownership reform plan was given the green light by China's securities regulator.

The Hang Seng index ended up 0.4 per cent at 27,154.68 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 per cent to 10,751.54.

Shares of China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd gained as much as 10.9 per cent before closing up 3.5 per cent at HK$12.36, its highest close in more than two years.

Trading in China Unicom's Hong Kong-listed shares was suspended last Wednesday as the company announced plans for a mixed-ownership reform.

Media worries that the plan would violate rules on private placements were alleviated when the China Securities Regulatory Commission said late on Sunday that it would treat the plan as "an exceptional case." Oil producer CNOOC Ltd gained 3.7 per cent ahead of second-quarter earnings due Aug 24. Analysts have pointed to strong corporate earnings as one of the key drivers behind a recent rally in Hong Kong shares.