Hong Kong shares close down 1.4 pct, banks and property hit

HONG KONG, March 1 Thu Mar 1, 2012 8:11am GMT

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HONG KONG, March 1 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares fell on Thursday, dragged lower by banks and developers on renewed fears of capital-raising, while a report that Chinese bank lending in February was lower than expected added to downward momentum.

The Hang Seng Index finished down 1.35 percent at 21,387.96. The China Enterprises Index of top mainland listings in Hong Kong closed down 1.9 percent at 11,602.44

The Shanghai Composite Index reversed early gains to end down 0.1 percent at 2,426.11, in the lowest A-share turnover in almost a month.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, the mainland's fifth-largest property developer by sales value, led percentage losses in the sector in Hong Kong, slumping 8.8 percent in more than 40 times its 30-day average volume. Country Garden, which was up 21 percent before Thursday, said it would raise HK$2.14 billion ($275 million) to fund capital expenditure by selling new shares to controlling shareholder Concrete Win Ltd, a move that put sector peers under pressure.

* Chinese banks were hit by fundraising fears after mainland media reported that Industrial Bank Co Ltd aimed to raise at least 25 billion yuan ($3.97 billion) by selling new shares to institutional investors. Mainland media reports on Thursday followed a Reuters report on Wednesday that new yuan loans by Chinese banks may total about 500 billion yuan ($79.45 billion) in February, well below market expectations of 650 billion yuan. (Reporting by Clement Tan and Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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