More IPOs in the pipeline as Macau casino stocks surge, Japanese insurance companies gain

Shares in Asia rose Monday with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbing 1.7% to end the session at 22,208. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4% to close at 3,176 and in Japan the Nikkei Index was up 0.2%, ending the day at 9,809.

In Hong Kong, banks led the rise with both Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (IDCBF) and China Construction Bank Corp. (CICHF) moving up 3.1%. As the banking sector remains strong in the territory, China Minsheng Banking Corp. is planning to sell up to $4 billion in an upcoming Hong Kong IPO.

Casino operator Sheldon Adelson is also planning to raise up to $3.4 billion in funds in an initial share offering in Hong Kong, and may use the cash to restart construction on some of his suspended Macau projects. Adelson owns the glitzy, over-the-top Venetian Macao, an Asian version of his Venetian in Las Vegas. Shares in his company Sands China, already traded in China, will be offered on the Hong Kong stock exchange following on the success of casino operators, which have rallied this year. Today Wynn Macau Ltd., which went public a few months ago, added 3.6%, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (GXYEF) soared 9.4%, and Melco International Development Ltd. (MDEVF) climbed 6.5%.

Also in Hong Kong trading, Lijun International Pharmaceutical Holding Co., which manufactures a drug the company claims restrains the growth of swine flu, soared 6.8%, while vaccine maker Sinopharm Group Co. inched up 0.4%.

Hong Kong listed car manufacturers fared well with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., gaining 1.7% and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. adding 0.3%.

In China, shares in carmakers also gained value as the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers released figures showing that Chinese car sales were up 78% compared to a year ago. According to the China Daily, the government has halved the tax on cars with smaller engines as part of its economic stimulus package. And it seems to be working; shares in Mazda partner FAW Car rose 2.5% while giant SAIC Motor Corp. added 0.7%.

In Japan, some automakers also rose with Mazda Motor Corp. (MZDAF) climbing 2.1%, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC) adding 1.1%. However, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY) fell 2.3% and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) lost 0.6%. Much of the losses getting chalked up to a stronger yen, lowering the income gained from U.S. vehicle sales.

Japanese insurance companies posted gains today as they released data showing the typhoon season, which has now ended, was especially gentle on their balance sheets. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings Inc. (MSIGF) spiked 8.6% and Aioi Insurance Co. (AIOIF) soared 8.7%. Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. (TKOMF) climbed 4.3%.

Perhaps the uneventful hurricane season is a sign of a calmer economic situation after the storm of the global crisis.
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