Asian markets mostly rise after China’s industrial profits grow — Asian market latest

Asian markets mostly rise after China's industrial profits grow -- Asian market latest

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) advanced 1.2% as trading resumed following the Christmas holiday. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI) gained 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) was flat in early trading.
China’s industrial profits rose 5.4% in November from a year earlier, reversing a 9.9% plunge in October, government statistics showed Friday morning.

The reversal was mainly because industrial companies increased production in November, the government said in a press release. But the overall economy is still under a lot of pressure, which means corporate profitability could remain volatile, it added.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong-based life insurance company AIA jumped 1.8% Friday after the company announced plans to take advantage of a change to China’s rules about its financial sector.

AIA, which is listed in Hong Kong, said Thursday that it will convert its Shanghai office into a wholly owned subsidiary — something it was unable to do before China announced that it would scrap foreign ownership limits on the financial sector next year. The restrictions on wholly owned subsidiaries in the life insurance sector lift January 1, with additional industries to follow.

Right now, AIA can only operate in restricted areas where it has offices approved by Chinese regulators, including Shanghai and Beijing. But with a wholly owned subsidiary based on the mainland, AIA can expand its business more freely there, which means it could potentially grow its base of clients.

In Tokyo, Japan Display (JPDYY), a screen supplier to Apple, surged 4.1%. The liquid crystal display maker is in talks with Apple and Sharp to sell its main factory, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

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