China shares fall as profit-taking saps outperformers, Hong Kong slips

Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:50am EDT

* HSI, H-shares both -0.4 pct; CSI300, Shanghai Comp -1.4 pct

* ChiNext index underperforms in mainland

* Prince Frog plunges on short-seller report, trading suspended

* GOME surges after solid preliminary Q3 result

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Oct 16 (Reuters) - China shares underperformed others in Asia, pushing down Hong Kong markets, and could have their heaviest loss in three weeks on Wednesday as investors took profit on outperforming sectors.

Market turnover in both Hong Kong and mainland China remained subdued, with a deal that would ensure the United States averts a debt default still elusive.

At midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index each sank 1.4 percent. Both faced the possibility of their biggest daily loss since Sept. 26.

The Nasdaq-styled ChiNext Composite Index, made up mainly of high-growth, high technology start-ups listed in Shenzhen, dived 2.7 percent. Before Wednesday, it surged nearly 80 percent on the year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.4 percent at 23,XXX.X points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in the territory also shed 0.4 percent.

The leading losers "are mostly the smaller stocks that have drastically outshined everybody this year and likely driven by speculative money," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst at Haitong Securities.

Traders also cited a record-high yuan against the dollar and rising fears of an impending resumption of initial public offerings in the A-share market as among other negative factors on the day.

In the mainland, Bestv New Media sank 7.6 percent, but is still up more than 171 percent this year, while Jiangsu Phoenix Publishing & Media dropped nearly 7 percent.

China should implement more policies to protect retail stock investors to ensure the healthy development of the country's capital market, the head of the securities regulator said on Wednesday.

Retail investors with portfolios of less than 500,000 yuan ($81,900) account for about 60 percent of market transaction value, but they suffer due to inadequate information disclosure by listed companies and illegal behaviour by some of them, Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) wrote in the official People's Daily.

Shanghai Lujiazui Trade Finance and Trade Zone Development dived 8.4 percent in Shanghai. Before Wednesday, its shares had surged 113 percent. Shanghai International Port tumbled nearly 7 percent.

Prince Frog plunged 26 percent in Hong Kong before trading in shares of the Chinese children skincare products maker was suspended shortly before the mid-day break.

Glaucus Research Group, a California-based short seller, issued a report taking issue with the company's sales figures.

There were gains for top premium alcohol producer Kweichow Moutai. Its shares rose 1.2 percent after reporting net profit rose 6.2 percent in the first nine months.

Wumart Stores Inc shares climbed 3.5 percent after saying it will acquire the bulk of CP Group's retail stores in the mainland, taking a stake in CP Lotus in an all-stocks deal worth $374 million. CP Lotus shares spiked nearly 29 percent. Trading in both were suspended on Tuesday.

GOME Electrical jumped 6.2 percent after the Chinese white goods retailer said preliminary same-store revenue was up 8 percent in the third quarter, from a year earlier, and more than 12 percent in the first three quarters.

PCCW and Fantastic TV, an affiliate of i-CABLE Communications, obtained initial approvals for a free TV license in Hong Kong. Shares of PCCW were up 8.9 percent and i-CABLE skyrocketed 164 percent.

Hong Kong Television Network, which didn't get an approval, tumbled 31 percent. The company said it will proceed with laying off 320 employees.

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