Tue, Apr 21, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Star Cruises shares surge 65 percent

BLOOMBERG

Star Cruises Ltd (麗星郵輪), Asia’s biggest cruise operator, surged by a record 65 percent in Hong Kong trading after China said it would allow cruise tours to Taiwan to stop in the city.

Star Cruises rose as much as HK$0.53 to HK$1.35, the most since being listed in Hong Kong in 2000, and traded at HK$1.18 as of 2:35pm.

That boosted the stock’s gains for this year to 97 percent, compared with a 10 percent climb for the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

After his meeting with Chinese authorities, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) said on Saturday in a press briefing at the Boao forum in Hainan that China would allow cruise tours from mainland ports to stop at Hong Kong en route to Taiwan. Star Cruises said in November it plans to begin a service between Taiwan and China by the end of the first quarter of this year.

ON THE UP

The Singapore-traded shares of Star Cruises rose 26 percent, the most in two years.

The cruise operator isn’t aware of the reasons for the increases in price and trading volume, it said in statements to the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges yesterday. Calls to the Hong Kong-based office of Star Cruises weren’t immediately returned.

RESTRICTIONS RELAXED

Hong Kong will relax travel restrictions for Taiwanese visitors entering the city, the city’s government said in a statement on April 15. Taiwanese residents with a valid travel permit for China will be allowed to stay in Hong Kong for seven days.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, Guangdong and Fujian should form a regional economic alliance to improve their competitiveness, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said last week after meeting in Hong Kong with Stephen Lam (林瑞麟), the city’s secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs.

Taiwan plans to start talks with China on cross-strait economic cooperation at the end of this year, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Chairman Chao Chien-min (趙建民) said last week.

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