Monday is HSBC's ex-dividend date, meaning that yesterday was the last day investors could buy shares and receive the company's final dividend. Thursday's gains on Wall Street and a strong showing in Tokyo also helped market sentiment, traders said.
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STRONG GAINS in HSBC shares helped Hong Kong shares to close sharply higher yesterday. The Hang Seng index finished 328.36 points, or 3.31 per cent, higher at 10,241.12, with the banking group HSBC accounting for more than a third of the gains.