Hong Kong shares get back to May 2011 high, China slips

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 30, 2013 05:10 hrs

* HSI +0.7 pct, H-shares +0.6 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct

* China property up on encouraging media reports

* CNOOC rises ahead of 2013 guidance later in the day

* Lenovo slips from 5-year high ahead of Q3 earnings

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares climbed to their highest since May 2011 on Wednesday, helped by strength in China-related counters that pushed the Hang Seng Index above a chart level that had put a lid on gains for nearly two weeks.

The onshore Chinese market slipped from its highest level since mid-2012, hit by some profit-taking in the banking sector, which had led benchmark indexes up 3-4 percent in first two days of the week.

The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings, which Tuesday had its highest close since early May, was down 0.3 percent at midday, while the Shanghai Composite Index was flat.

The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.6 percent, while the Hang Seng Index gained 0.7 percent to 23,817.2, its highest since early May 2011.

The Hang Seng Index briefly breached 23,900 in early trade after some callable bear contracts were terminated at the 23,800 and 23,900 level, dealers said. They cited Hang Seng Index January futures expiring on Wednesday as another factor.

"There's still some money sitting on the sidelines, waiting to get into the market, but I won't get too carried away by the rally we have had in the last few weeks," said Larry Jiang, chief strategist at Guotai Junan International Securities.

"We have been pretty stagnant in Hong Kong lately despite strong moves up in the A-share and U.S. markets, so this can be seen as a form of catch-up, but turnover has actually come down over the last week or so," Jiang added.

Chinese property counters rose on Wednesday after the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald newspaper quoted an unnamed economist identified as close to policymakers as saying that Beijing could tolerate house price rises of at most 10 percent this year, after taking inflation, income growth and GDP growth into account.

China Resources Land climbed 1.5 percent in Hong Kong. It is now up 14 percent in January after surging 69 percent in 2012. Shenzhen-listed China Vanke outperformed a flat market to rise 0.3 percent.

Both were also helped by a report in the official China Securities Journal newspaper that more than half of China Development Bank's new loans in 2013 will go to supporting the new leadership's urbanization agenda.

The same newspaper also reported that China's railway ministry plans to spend 117 billion yuan buying rail cars this year, up from 108.2 billion yuan in 2012.

Shares of China Railway Construction rebounded 2.2 percent from Tuesday's 1-1/2-month low in Hong Kong and inched up 0.2 percent in Shanghai.


Chinese oil giant CNOOC Ltd rose 2 percent to its highest since Jan. 11 in Hong Kong ahead of a meeting later in the day where the company is expected to provide guidance on oil production for the year.

Shares of ZTE Corp shed 0.3 percent in Hong Kong and 0.9 percent in Shenzhen. During the midday break, a senior ZTE executive told Reuters that China's second-largest telecom equipment maker said it expects smartphone shipments in 2013 to exceed an earlier 50 million unit forecast.

Lenovo Group fell 1.8 percent from Tuesday's more than five year closing high ahead of its third-quarter corporate earnings due later in the day. Still, it has risen 19.4 percent in January after jumping 35.5 percent in 2012.

Lenovo is currently trading at 16 times forward 12-month earnings, a 7.5 percent premium over its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

In the last 30 days, three of 31 analysts have upgraded their Lenovo earnings-per-share projection for the financial year ending March 2013 by an average of 13 percent, according to StarMine.

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