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Chinese shares end year at highest levels in six months

MAINLAND Chinese shares closed at their highest levels in six months on Monday, as strength in insurers and brokerages helped benchmark indexes post their first annual gain in three years.

China plans to allow eligible securities house and insurers' asset management units to develop and manage mutual funds in a bid to reinvigorate an industry struggling to produce returns for investors.

The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed up 1.6pc on the day at 2,523 points. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.6pc.

The indexes rose 7.6pc and 3.2pc, respectively, in 2012 after diving more than 20pc in 2011.

Both closed at their highest since June 20, largely on the back of a surge in December. The CSI300 and Shanghai Composite soared 17.9pc and 14.6pc this month, their respective best monthly gains since July 2009.

Onshore China markets will be shut Jan. 1 to 3 and will reopen for the new year on Friday, Jan. 4.

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