Hong Kong stocks rose on Wednesday led by Chinese insurers, although a slump in shares of European retailer Esprit limited the benchmark's gain.

The Hang Seng index ended the day up 0.82 percent while the China Enterprises index of top locally listed mainland firms finished up 1.5 percent.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite closed up 1.3 percent while the large-cap focused CSI300 rose 1.6 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS

* Esprit Holdings lost a fifth of its value after the resignation of its CEO raised doubts about the company's turnaround efforts. The stock was suspended in the afternoon session.

* Chinese insurance shares led gains in Hong Kong after more reports in local media on regulators expanding investment options for the sector. China Life rose 3.7 percent and was the top gainer on the benchmark. Rival Ping An ended up 2.6 percent. - Reuters