China shares outperform Asia, lift Hong Kong to highest in a month

Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:55am BST

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* HSI +0.6 pct, H-shares +0.7 pct, CSI300 +1.4 pct

* Policy comments by Premier Li encourage investors

* Tencent hits record high after Google's strong gains

* Hutchison sinks after scrapping ParkNShop sale plans

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Oct 21 (Reuters) - China shares outshone others in Asia early on Monday, lifting Hong Kong to its highest in a month, after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said there should be "no slackening" in carrying out policies that ensure growth targets are met.

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings touched a record high, tracking strong gains for its New York-listed sector rivals after Google shares topped $1,000 on Friday following forecast-busting quarterly results.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent at 23,477 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent. Both offshore indexes reached their highest since mid-September.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 1.4 percent and Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1 percent. The MSCI Asia ex-Japan was up 0.2 percent.

"Premier Li's comments, along with reports that A-share IPO approvals will likely not resume soon, are responsible for the more positive tone in the market today," said Cao Xuefeng, a Chengdu-based analyst with Huaxi Securities.

Reports in official Chinese media said that Li, at a State Council meeting on Friday, urged officials to keep up the pace of reform implementation and reiterated that the policy focus will not be changed.

The market also responded positively to state media reports on Monday that China's securities regulator, at a weekend press conference, said there are more steps in the approval process for new listings, suggesting initial public offerings will not resume this year.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group surged the 10 percent limit in Shanghai, as well as 13.6 percent in Hong Kong, after its research and development subsidiary Chongqing Fochon entered a licensing agreement with Switzerland's SELLAS Clinical for two chemical compounds.

Tencent jumped 5 percent to HK$451.20 ($58.19) per share, a record high, which added $5.1 billion to its market capitalization, now exceeding $100 billion.

Now up more than 80 percent on the year, Tencent was trading at 32 times forward 12-month earnings, a 20 percent premium to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Investors also chased gains in the Macau casino sector, another outperformer this year. The sector again surged after Sands China posted record quarterly earnings before interest, tax and amortization.

Galaxy Entertainment climbed 5.4 percent and Sands China 3.8 percent to record highs. The Galaxy share price has more than doubled this year, while that of Sands China has jumped 77 percent. By comparison, the Hang Seng Index has risen 3.6 percent.

There were losses for Hutchison Whampoa, whose shares sank 2.8 percent after the conglomerate controlled by Li Ka-shing scrapped plans to sell its Hong Kong supermarket business.

Chinese railway equipment manufacturer Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric tumbled 5.1 percent after raising $294 million worth of new shares, which were priced at an 8.8 percent to Friday's close.

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