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Article updated: 12/31/2012 11:54 AM

Qihoo soars as Google pact to fuel sales growth

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Qihoo 360 Technology Co. surged in New York, driving the benchmark index of Chinese U.S.-listed stocks to seven-month high, on prospects a partnership with Google Inc. will bolster revenue this year.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in New York jumped 1.3 percent to 98.04 by 11:40 a.m., bringing its 2012 advance to 5.6 percent. Qihoo, a Beijing-based company that started its Internet search engine in August, is poised to close at the highest level since May 20, while web data-center operator 21Vianet Group Inc. climbed the most in four months. China Life Insurance Co. traded at a premium to its Hong Kong stock for the first time in six days after the regulator said insurers can set up mutual funds.

Qihoo, which offers anti-virus programs as well as the most-used web browser in China, jumped 86 percent in 2012, the biggest gainer of the China-US gauge's 55 stocks. The company's tie-up with Google will start soon and contribute $140 million of revenue this year, Juan Lin, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. in Greenwood Village, Colorado, wrote in a report. Data showing Chinese factory output grew at the fastest pace in 19 months in December also boosted stocks traded in the U.S.

"There will be more growth in Qihoo and now with this cooperation with Google revenues and earnings need to go up a bit in 2013," Kirk Adams, a director of research at Wedge Partners, said by phone yesterday. "As its cooperation with Google will add cash to Qihoo, the market will continue to price in the revenue growth in 2013."

ETF Climbs

The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund, the largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., added 1.4 percent to $40.09, extending its 2012 climb to 15 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose for the first time in six days, gaining 0.3 percent to 1,405.94 as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said talks on a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff are "progressing."

The Shanghai Composite Index of domestic shares jumped 1.6 percent yesterday to 2,269.13 for an annual gain of 3.2 percent, the first increase in three years. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index advanced 0.5 percent yesterday to 11,436.16, to close 15 percent higher in 2012.

Qihoo's Chief Financial Officer Alex Xu didn't immediately respond an e-mail seeking confirmation on the impact of the cooperation with Google on the company's revenue.

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