Hong Kong shares close down 1.7 pct, property weak

HONG KONG Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:07am GMT

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HONG KONG Feb 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares closed lower on Thursday dampened by fresh worries about monetary tightening and expansion of property sector curbs with property and financial stocks leading the slide.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 1.7 percent at 22,906.67. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 2.2 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 3 percent at 2,325.9. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings lost 3.4 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* The property sector took a hit after China's cabinet on Wednesday restated its intention to extend a pilot property tax programme to more cities and urged local authorities again to put price control targets on new homes. In Hong Kong, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd fell 2.4 percent, Sun Hung Kai Properties down 1.5 percent, and New World Development Co Ltd slid 2.5 percent.

* Belle International Holdings Ltd, China's top footwear retailer, dropped as much as 18 percent after it said its 2012 profit would come in at the lower end of expectations, just marginally higher than in 2011. The shares, which closed at a record high on Wednesday, ended down 16.8 percent at their lowest close since November 2012.

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