By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, March 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China shares
rose on Friday, led by banking and railway counters on
restructuring of the mainland's vast rail operations, but were
still set to end the week with the heaviest losses in three
At the midday break, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.76
percent at 22,790.14 but down 1.3 percent on the week. The China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong gained 0.85 percent, although it's now down 2.5 percent
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings gained 2.3 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index climbed 1.65 percent. They are now down
0.6 and 0.5 percent this week, respectively.
All four indexes are headed for their worst weekly losses in
three, with onshore Chinese markets testing their lowest in two
months this past week.
"I doubt there will be much downside from here, so if you
are a bit light on your positions, this may be a good time to
buy into beaten-down counters with a clearer growth or earnings
potential," said Larry Jiang, chief investment strategist at
Guotai Junan International Securities.
On Friday, China Railway Group shares rose 1.5
percent, while China Railway Construction gained 1.7
China's cabinet has approved the setting up of a railway
company with a registered capital of 1.04 trillion yuan ($167.4
billion) following the government's decision to dissolve the
scandal-plagued Railways Ministry.
On Friday, Chinese property developers sank after the
country's housing minister was reported by the official China
Securities Journal to have said that curbs on the housing market
will be strictly enforced, resulting in a fall in home prices.
China Vanke gained 0.5 percent in Shenzhen.
Chinese property stocks have been volatile since the
country's cabinet announced on March 1 more measures intended to
curb speculative home demand amid rising prices.