Hong Kong shares rebound after holiday, property climbs

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 05:10 hrs

* HSI rises 0.9 pct, H-shares up 1.5 pct

* Chinese property sector rebounds from last week's losses

* Macau gambling stocks climb after record daily visitors

HONG KONG, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose in holiday-thinned trade on Thursday, with the Chinese property sector strong as the market rebounded from its deepest loss since November last week.

Chinese real estate stocks gained as worries over fresh property curbs eased and investors positioned themselves for bargain hunting after the sector took a hit last week.

The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading break up 0.9 percent at 23,434.43 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was up 1.5 percent. Turnover in Hong Kong remained weak after a three-day Lunar New Year holiday.

Mainland Chinese markets are shut for a week-long Lunar New Year holiday and will resume trading on Feb. 18.

China Overseas Land rose 3 percent, rebounding after it ended at a three-month closing low last Thursday in Hong Kong. China Resources Land climbed 5.7 percent.

"They were over-sold prior to the Chinese New Year holiday so today we see some bargain fishing in the leaders of the sector," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities equity vice-president for equity sales in Hong Kong.

But the rebound should be moderate as housing policies remained uncertain before the power transition in March, Wong said.

Macau gambling stocks rose after the territory posted record visitor arrivals from mainland China this week. Sands China Ltd was up 2 percent, while Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd jumped 3.1 percent.

Financial stocks were boosted by China's better-than-expected January loans prior to the holiday. Shares in Bank of Communications rose 2.8 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's biggest bank, gained 2.3 percent.

Shares in China's state-owned Citic Resources Holdings rose 1.7 percent after it bought a 15 percent stake in Australia's Alumina for A$452 million ($467.5 million).

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