* SSEC +0.2 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct, HSI +0.4 pct
* Developers rise on policy loosening hopes
* BYD soars after NDRC approves bond issue
SHANGHAI, Nov 19 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Monday as investors took heart from policy support measures aimed at shoring up weak markets and promoting growth, and as speculation swirls about a possible cut in benchmark lending rates.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 5.99 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,685.10. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.5 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 1.2 percent, the consumer staples sector up 0.86 percent, the real estate index up 2.81 percent and the healthcare sub-index up 1.03 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.28 percent to 10,613.25, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.41 percent at 26,290.10. ** China’s stubbornly weak credit growth has spurred talk of its first cut in benchmark lending rates in three years, but economists and policy insiders say concerns about a potential knock to its currency will likely give the central bank pause. ** Shenzhen-listed shares of Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd hit a near six-month high and were last up 5.84 percent, after the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved BYD’s plans to issue 6 billion yuan ($864.32 million) of corporate bonds amid a broad push to support private firms. The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares gained 6.45 percent. ** Shares in Chinese developers jumped on rising expectations of a rate cut that could lower borrowing costs for developers and home buyers. The CSI300 real estate index touched a near five-month high and was up 2.81 percent at the midday break. ** An index tracking securities firms rose 2.66 percent. Securities firms are also seen as beneficiaries of policies to support markets and of plans to launch a new technology board. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.27 percent. The start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.08 percent after the securities regulator on the weekend tightened rules over goodwill impairment, which could hit some company earnings. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.04 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.52 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9432 per U.S. dollar, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.9351. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai Yimin Commercial Group Co Ltd, up 10.13 percent, followed by Tianfeng Securities Co Ltd , gaining 10.07 percent and Anhui Heli Co Ltd , up by 10.06 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Sichuan Minjiang Hydropower Co Ltd, down 10.02 percent, followed by Fangda Special Steel Technology Co Ltd , losing 8.23 percent and Tianjin Hi-Tech Development Co Ltd, down by 6.74 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 18.99 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 9.6 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.93 percent this month. ** BYD was the top gainer among H-shares, followed by China Vanke Co Ltd, gaining 4.52 percent and China Telecom Corp Ltd, up by 2.71 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.84 percent, China Railway Group Ltd, which has lost 1.9 percent and New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, down by 1.7 percent. ** About 14.02 billion shares were traded until midday on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 82.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 17.07 billion shares. The volume traded was 24.22 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:15 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.89 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares rose 0.5 percent while the IT sector rose 0.5 percent. The top gainer on the Hang Seng was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, up 5.42 percent, while the biggest loser was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, which was down 2.40 percent. ($1 = 6.9419 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier