* HSI +0.8 pct, H-shares +0.9 pct, CSI300 +0.2 pct
* Gains still accompanied by anemic turnover in both markets
* Beta plays lifted by positive China lending data
* Agile Property climbs after encouraging March sales
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, April 11 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares were headed
for a third-straight daily gain on Thursday, but in weak
turnover, after official data showed Chinese lending and money
supply exceeded expectations in March, dissipating credit
Mainland markets were comparatively weaker, paring early
gains. At midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai
and Shenzhen listings was up 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index crawled up 0.1 percent.
The Hang Seng Index climbed 0.8 percent to 22,220.5
points, set for a third day of gains that helped it retrace
about 80 percent of last Friday's bird flu-triggered tumble. The
China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in
Hong Kong was up 0.9 percent.
"The most important thing about this current batch of data
is that the Chinese economy is more stable than previously
feared," said Larry Jiang, chief investment strategist at Guotai
Junan International Securities.
"But I still won't aggressively add to positions now, only
selectively buying into companies with good fundamentals. We
need to be more patient to see how the bird flu and North Korea
situation pan out," Jiang added.
Central bank data showed on Thursday that Chinese banks made
1.06 trillion yuan ($171.2 billion) of new local currency loans
in March, well above market expectations for 850 billion yuan,
buoying the Chinese banking sector and other cyclical counters.
China Construction Bank (CCB) , the
country's No. 2 lender, rose 0.8 percent in Hong Kong and 0.2
percent in Shanghai. CCB has shaved a quarter of its bounce from
a September low to Jan. 30 high, slipping about 7 percent from
Mid-sized lender China Minsheng Bank
climbed 1.7 percent in Hong Kong and 0.8 percent in Shanghai.
Minsheng has now tumbled more than 17 percent from its Feb. 4
peak, cutting about 40 percent from its bounce from September
Total social financing, the central bank's broad measure of
liquidity in the economy, surged to 2.54 trillion yuan in March,
more than double the 1.07 trillion yuan in February, the same
set of data showed.
More data is expected next week. First quarter GDP growth
data is due April 15, along with industrial output, retail sales
and urban investment data for March.
FAW Car surged by the maximum 10 percent limit
in Shenzhen after the Chinese automaker said it expects to
record a profit for the first quarter.
Agile Property gained 2 percent in Hong Kong after
the Chinese developer said new contract sales increased 17
percent in March from a year earlier. Gains on Thursday lifted
Agile to its highest since early March.
Other Chinese property developers listed in Hong Kong were
mostly higher, but those listed in the mainland were mixed.
China Vanke inched up 0.7 percent in Shenzhen, but
Poly Real Estate slipped 0.4 percent in Shanghai.
The official China Securities Journal reported on Thursday
that Guangzhou will raise the down-payment ratio for buying a
second home to 70 percent if housing prices rise by more than 2
percent this month from March, citing an unnamed local official.