* HSI +0.1 pct, H-shares +0.4 pct, CSI300 +0.3 pct
* Taiping set for best daily gain since October 2009
* Hengdeli jumps after China cut import duties on Swiss
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, May 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose on
Tuesday with heavyweight China Taiping Insurance
surging nearly 12 percent after it announced a $13.3 billion
restructuring plan while its rivals slipped on a downgrade.
The Hang Seng Index ended the morning session up 0.1
percent, while the China Enterprises Index of the
leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.4 percent. Hong
Kong bourse turnover at midday neared the weakest for the year.
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen listings gained 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index inched up 0.2 percent. Both remain mired
in a 40-60 point range that has bounded their movements for more
than a week.
"Other than some company-specific moves driven by news, I
see some rotation into some recently beaten-down cyclical
counters, but overall turnover is quite bad," said Jackson Wong,
Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China needs an
average economic growth of 7 percent -- compared to the 7.5
percent official target for 2013 -- to reach its goal of
doubling per capita gross national product by 2020, signalling
tolerance for a slower pace of expansion.
China Taiping was in focus on Tuesday as investors were
cheered by its plan to buy stakes in 25 companies totalling
$13.3 billion from its unlisted parent to streamline
shareholding and capital structure, funded by proceeds from the
sale of new shares priced at HK$15.39 each.
CLSA analysts said the move by Taiping's parent to increase
its stake from 53.2 percent to 69 percent removes an overhang,
upgrading their view on the stock from "underperform" to "buy."
While Taiping is set for its best daily showing since
October 2009, its major Chinese insurance sector rivals were
mostly weaker after Goldman Sachs downgraded insurers from
overweight to neutral, while upgrading their view on brokerages.
Goldman's China equity strategists said insurers could see
unfavourable regulatory risks in the coming quarters and
structural challenges within the sector, while reforms are
likely to benefit brokers, particularly since investors are
lightly positioned in the sector.
In Hong Kong, China Life Insurance and Ping An
Insurance each slipped 0.2 percent, while Haitong
Securities climbed 1.4 percent and Haitong Securities
jumped 2.7 percent.
Shares of luxury watch retailer Hengdeli jumped
8.6 percent after China said it will cut import duties on Swiss
watches by 60 percent over the next 10 years under a free-trade
agreement which should help reinvigorate Swiss watchmakers'
sales in a key market.