Hong Kong shares rebound from one-month low, China slips again

Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:25pm EST

* HSI +0.9 pct, H-shares +1.1 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct

* Metal producers jump, Beijing reportedly resuming stockpiling

* Tencent slips ahead of Q3 earnings

* Next Media suspended after diving 13 pct

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rebounded from a one-month low on Wednesday, buoyed by strong gains for metal producers after Chinese state media confirmed a Reuters report that Beijing had resumed stockpiling metals in a move seen supporting physical prices.

Reuters had first reported on Monday that China's State Reserves Bureau has issued tenders to buy 160,000 tonnes of primary aluminium and 150,000 tonnes of zinc ingots from local smelters.

The Hang Seng Index was up 0.9 percent at 21,373.9 by the midday break, rebounding from a one-month low set on Tuesday. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.1 percent.

Strength in the materials sector helped limit losses in the mainland. The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings slipped 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2 percent.

"In this environment where there's so much uncertainty over the U.S. fiscal situation, these sectors offer some certainty because of government investment right now," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.

A preliminary vote at the 18th Communist Party congress, which ends on Wednesday, tapping Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang as successors for President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, also further soothed jitters, Wong added.

The full Politburo Standing Committee lineup is expected to be announced at 0300 GMT on Thursday.

On Wednesday, shares of Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), the country's largest aluminum producer, led gains among components on the Hang Seng and CSI300 indexes, jumping 5.5 percent in Shanghai and 3.1 percent in Hong Kong.

Wong said there was a "fair amount" of investors rotating into metals and infrastructure-related counters, such as Chalco, after the recent spate of profit taking.

Before Wednesday, Chalco was down 8.5 percent from a Nov. 7 high in Hong Kong. It is still down 1.5 percent on the year, compared to the 16 percent gain for the Hang Seng Index and the 4 percent rise on the China Enterprises Index.

Chinese cement and steel counters also rebounded following Tuesday's losses. Anhui Conch Cement rose 1.2 percent, while Angang Steel rose 2.2 percent in Hong Kong.

But in a sign that things are still to come, the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) warned on Wednesday that overcapacity will continue to eat into margins despite falling inventories and a recent rally in steel prices in China.

In Hong Kong, Chinese banks were also stronger. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) led gains among its "Big Four" Chinese bank rivals, rising 2.4 percent.

TENCENT TRIMS 2012 GAINS

Shares of Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings slipped 0.6 percent in Hong Kong, partly coming under pressure after sector rival Nasdaq-listed Baidu di ved nearly 6 percent overnight.

Tencent is expected to post third-quarter corporate earnings later in the day. Up 72 percent in 2012, Tencent is currently trading at 25 times forward 12-month earnings, an 8 percent discount to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Six out of 33 analysts cut their 2012 earnings-per-share estimates for Tencent by an average of about 6 percent in the last 30 days, according to StarMine.

Shares of Next Media were halted in early trading after slumping 13 percent to its lowest in a month in Hong Kong.

Taiwanese media reported that the country's financial regulator had demanded businessman Jeffrey Koo not take control of Next Media's Taiwan assets as part of a deal agreed last month as it does not want financial industry executives to control or run media.