* HSI -1.8 pct, H-shares -2.5 pct, CSI300 -0.5 pct
* Sinopec down but above HK$8.45 per new share price
* Coal, railway strength limit A-share losses
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Feb 5 Hong Kong shares tumbled to a
three-week low on Tuesday, dragged down by a 7 percent slump for
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) after the oil giant
launched a $3.1 billion new share placement.
Wall Street's worst day since November and renewed worries
that a political shake-up could disrupt the euro zone's efforts
in resolving its debt crisis combined to trigger broad profit
taking in the on- and offshore Chinese market.
At 0230 GMT, the Hang Seng Index was down 1.8 percent
at 23,263.9, its lowest intra-day level since Jan. 15. The China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong slid 2.5 percent.
On the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen A-share listings inched down 0.5 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent.
"There're some liquidation of long positions today, but
people are not panicking," said Alex Wong, director of asset
management at Ample Finance.
"I won't rush to buy on the dips yet. It might be a better
idea to see how the market consolidates from here," Wong added.
Sinopec sold 2.85 billion new Hong
Kong-traded shares at HK$8.45 each, a 9.5 percent
discount to Monday's close. A source familiar with the matter
said they were sold to a group of about 10 investors that
included some of the world's largest institutional investors and
global fund managers.
Its shares dived 7 percent to HK$8.69, its lowest since
end-December in Hong Kong but held above the placement price.
Its Shanghai shares fell 3.4 percent, sinking into negative
territory for the year after three straight annual losses.
China Minsheng Bank slid 4 percent from
Monday's record close in Hong Kong, but extended its meteoric
gains in Shanghai, rising 0.8 percent.
COAL, RAILWAY COUNTERS STRONG
Losses in the onshore Chinese market were limited by
strength in coal stocks with investors welcoming a local press
report that Beijing plans to encourage mergers to form
conglomerates in the sector.
China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd rose 1 percent in
Shanghai, while smaller rival Yangquan Coal rose 3.3
percent and Datong Coal jumped 6.3 percent.
The official China Securities Journal newspaper reported
that Beijing will likely introduce a development plan for 120
ports, which could drive tremendous investment in infrastructure
there with a focus on transportation and energy pipelines.
Railway and subway shares rose, with CSR Corp
jumping 5 percent in Shanghai and 1.1
percent in Hong Kong, while China Railway Construction
gained 1.9 percent in Shanghai and 0.9 percent in