* HSI down 0.4 pct on the day, slides 2.4 pct on the week
* CSI300 up 0.2 on Friday, but had weekly loss of 2.6 pct
* China property weak after talk on strict curb-enforcement
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, March 15 Hong Kong and China shares
ended their worst week in three on a tepid note on Friday,
dragged down by Chinese property developers after official media
reported that new curbs on the housing market will be strictly
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.4 percent on the
day at 22,533.1, while the China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.7 percent. This
week, they slipped 2.4 and 4 percent respectively.
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the leading
Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings ended up 0.2 percent on
Friday while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4
percent. But for the week, they fell 2.6 and 1.7 percent
respectively, testing their lowest levels in two months.
Shanghai's trading volume on Friday was above its average in
the last 20 days, for the first time in more than a week.
Turnover in Hong Kong was the heaviest since Feb. 4.
"I doubt there will be much downside from here, so if you
are a bit light on your positions, this may be a good time to
buy into beaten-down counters with a clearer growth or earnings
potential," said Larry Jiang, chief investment strategist at
Guotai Junan International Securities.
China will announce the rest of its new cabinet lineup as
its annual parliamentary meeting ends over the weekend. The
session confirmed Xi Jinping as president on Thursday and Li
Keqiang as premier on Friday.
Investors will be keenly watching for more details on broad
policy directives announced or reported in the last two weeks at
a time data points to a more gradual recovery in Chinese
On Friday, shares of Chinese airlines climbed after the
official Shanghai Securities News quoted the country's top
aviation regulator as saying that China should invest in more
airports and that jet fuel prices will be subject more to market
China Eastern Airlines rose 3.4 percent
in Shanghai and 1.5 percent in Hong Kong. Hainan Airlines
surged the maximum 10 percent limit in Shanghai.
PROPERTY-RELATED PLAYS SINK
Chinese property developers sank after the country's housing
minister was reported by the official China Securities Journal
as saying that curbs imposed on the market to control the market
will be strictly enforced and that prices are expected to fall
China Vanke dived 3 percent in Shenzhen to its
lowest since Dec. 25. Shares of the mainland's largest developer
by sales have plunged 13 percent since March 1, when China's
cabinet announced more measures intended to curb speculative
home demand amid rising prices.
In Hong Kong, China Resources Land (CR Land)
tumbled 5.4 percent - to its lowest close since Nov. 21 - ahead
of its 2012 final earnings. After the market closed, the company
posted a 30 percent rise in 2012 net profit from a year earlier.
Chinese cement counters plunged in Hong Kong, with a trader
citing speculation that the National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planning agency, is
investigating the industry for suspected price collusion.
Anhui Conch Cement dived 5.6 percent, while China
National Building Material Co. plunged 6.9 percent,
its biggest single-day loss since November 2011.