* HSI 0.7 pct, HSCE 1.5 pct CSI300 3.2 pct
* Air pollution lifts energy and healthcare
* Earnings, policy optimism boosts property and financials
* Li & Fung falls 2 pct on weak earnings
SHANGHAI, Jan 14 Chinese shares in Hong Kong
struck a fresh 52-week-high on Monday, and mainland indexes
jumped by more than 2.5 percent led by financials and property,
which gained on a media report that the roll-out of a pilot
property tax scheme could be delayed.
Another feature of the mainland markets were gains made by
healthcare stocks and some large-cap energy stocks after air
quality in Beijing on Saturday was said by environmentalists to
have been the "worst on record", and the city's pollution
monitoring centre warned residents to stay indoors. Other
northern Chinese cities were also affected.
Hang Seng Index was up 0.7 percent at 23,426.96
By 1.15 p.m. (0315 GMT), te China Enterprises Index of top
Chinese listings in Hong Kong was up 1.5 percent at
12,023.27 points, setting a fresh 52-week high, whereas the Hang
Seng Index was up 0.7 percent at 23,426.96 points
The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen
listings rose 3.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index
rose 2.5 percent.
Banking shares gained strongly in both Hong Kong and
Shanghai, with HSBC climbing one percent. Insurer
China Life was up 3.85 percent in Hong Kong
and 4.33 in Shanghai, and ICBC was up one
percent in Hong Kong and 1.4 percent in Shanghai.
"Banking stocks are seen quite strong as investors put a bet
on the sector on hope of good growth in earnings on the
improving economic environment, in particular tracking a solid
gain in the Shanghai market," said Alfred Chan, chief dealer at
Cheer Pearl Investment.
Despite a strong tone in the main index, companies that
posted profit warnings were under pressure.
Global supply chain manager Li & Fung fell 2
percent to its lowest level in three months after it warned of a
steep drop in core operating profit, taking investors by
surprise and triggering concern over its ability to reach a
three-year earnings target.
China's largest polysilicon and wafer maker GCL-Poly Energy
Holdings Ltd fell 4.25 percent after it announced a
substantial expected loss in 2012 due to anti-dumping and
countervailing duties imposed by the U.S., the impact of the
European debt crisis on solar farms financing, and impairment
and provisions against inventory and production facilities.
Shares of Citic Telecom International Holdings Ltd had their
biggest one-day percentage gain in more than two years on Monday
after striking a $1.2 billion deal to gain control of a Macau
telecommunications company from Cable & Wireless Communications
Plc and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA.
FINANCIALS, PROPERTY SURGE ON MAINLAND
The air pollution in north China over the weekend boosted
energy shares, as investors bet that pollution-related policies
would lead big, listed companies to profit at the expense of
smaller players that could be harder hit by new regulations.
China Shenhua Energy rose 1.3 percent, while
PetroChina rose 1.68 percent.
The healthcare sub-index gained 2.8 percent as
consumers are expected to look for ways to protect themselves.
Apart from air pollution, a better-than-expected earnings
preview from Industrial Bank on Friday and a strong
fourth-quarter earnings release from Poly Real Estate
on Sunday night boosted sentiment towards the
mainland financial and real estate sectors.
The mainland property sub-index rose 3.39 percent,
while financials were up 3.6 percent.
Also affecting real estate shares was comments from a senior
official in China's State Administration of Taxation, reported
in mainland media, that China is likely to delay the expansion
of its property tax pilot project to more cities beyond Shanghai
The Ministry of Land Resources said it would continue to
ensure sufficient land supply to prevent against big rises in
land prices that could feed through to home prices. That boosted
real estate shares by easing investor fears that spiraling land
costs would hit developers' bottom line.