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Hong Kong shares partly recover last week's loss, China slips

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Mar 25, 2013 05:20 hrs

* HSI +0.7 pct, H-shares +0.8 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct

* CNOOC, Sinopec up in HK after earnings, higher oil prices

* CCB up 2.1 pct, first of "Big Four" China banks to report

* China retailers in focus as earnings enter high season

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, March 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares recovered some of last week's losses on Monday, as investors cheered a Cyprus bailout deal and relatively positive 2012 earnings from Chinese oil majors.

Mainland Chinese markets made a subdued start to the week after outperforming last week. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings, which last week gained 3.1 percent, was down 0.3 percent at midday, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent.

The Hang Seng Index, which fell 1.9 percent last week, rose 0.7 percent to 22,261.8. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 0.8 percent.

"There's quite a bit of short covering in today's rebound after the Cyprus deal, but we have barely cut last week's losses, so there's nothing to be too excited about," said Jackson Wong, vice-president for equity sales at Tanrich Securities.

CNOOC jumped 3.9 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) rose 3.3 percent after both posted 2012 net profits that were broadly in line with market expectations. Helping the shares were Monday's higher oil prices.

Sinopec also announced a venture with its parent company to buy $3 billion worth of oil and gas assets held by the latter in a bid to improve its profitability.

Shares of CNOOC appeared to shrug off comments from a senior executive last Friday that the state-owned energy company, which last month completed a $15.1 billion takeover of Canada's Nexen, has been hit by a Canadian oil glut that is depressing prices for Canadian crude.

China Construction Bank , which reported results on Sunday, rose 2.4 percent in Hong Kong and 1.5 percent in Shanghai. In 2012, the country's second-largest lender had its slowest annual profit growth as a public listed company, a result broadly in line with market expectations.

CCB was the first of the "Big Four" Chinese banks to report 2012 results, with the rest due to release theirs this week as the earnings seasons for the Hong Kong and China markets peak.

Of the 48 percent of Hong Kong-listed companies that have reported 2012 earnings so far, half of them have missed expectations with the materials sector accounting for the bulk of disappointments, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Several Chinese retail bellwether companies, including Belle , GOME and Li Ning, are due to post results later on Monday and could offer investors fresh signs of a patchy recovery in the sector.

Shares of GOME Electrical Appliances were flat in Hong Kong, while Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning tumbled 2.6 percent.

Belle International inched down 0.4 percent ahead of its earnings later in the day. Down 20 percent this year, Belle is currently trading at a 19 percent discount to its historical median 12-month forward earnings, according to StarMine.

In the last 30 days, 19 of 32 analysts have downgraded their 2012 earnings-per-share estimates for Belle by an average of 8.2 percent, according to StarMine.




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