IPO delay fails to lift China shares, Hong Kong sluggish
* HSI -0.1 pct , H-shares +0.1 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct
* Sinopharm, Xingrong Investment fall after saying officials detained
* China property slide after ministry land use guidance
* Chalco soars after positive profit alert
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Jan 13 (Reuters) - China shares failed to take any cheer on Monday from the postponement of five initial public offerings, weighing on Hong Kong markets, as weakness in property counters offset strength in Aluminum Corporation of China.
Five Chinese firms announced on Monday that they were delaying their planned A-share IPOs after the China Securities Regulatory Commission said overnight it would strengthen supervision of new listings, saying it would conduct random spot checks of book-building and road shows.
"There's a general feeling that the changes made to the IPO system have fallen short of the regulator's stated aim to make the process 'fair, open and just'," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities.
"The pricing gap between the highest and lowest bids remains too big and this points at several underlying structural issues that have yet to be addressed. And unless they are, nothing will change in a meaningful way," Zhang added.
At midday, the CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent. Both are now down about 5 percent since the start of the year.
The Hang Seng Index was down 0.1 percent at 22,832 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top offshore listings, which was up more than 1 percent in one point, went into the lunch break up 0.1 percent.
Chengdu Xingrong Investment slumped 8.3 percent in Shenzhen after the company said its acting general manager Zhang Ying has been detained by local police.
Shares of Sinopharm Group Co Ltd fell 2.4 percent in Hong Kong after China's largest pharmaceutical distributor said its former vice president has been detained as part of a probe into alleged corruption, the latest industry official to come under scrutiny.
Chinese property counters were on the defensive after the Ministry of Land and Resources announced at its annual work meeting last Friday new land supply in cities with populations exceeding 5 million and said that new land supply will focus on housing.
Credit Suisse property analyst Du Jinsong said in a client note dated Monday that this will increase the cost of industrial land, while homebuilders may suffer from land re-pricing from any conversion of industrial land for residential purposes.
China Vanke fell 2.6 percent to its lowest since January 2012 in Shenzhen and have now tumbled 10.5 percent this year after sliding 20.7 percent in 2013. China Resources Land fell 2.1 percent from a month-high in Hong Kong.
Power Assets shed 1.2 percent after it slashed the size of a Hong Kong initial public offering of its electricity business by nearly one-third to $3.6 billion because of a lower expected valuation and its decision to keep a large stake in the business.
There were gains for Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) , whose shares soared 8.2 percent in Shanghai and 6.2 percent in Hong Kong after the company said it expects to swing back into profitability for 2013 from a year earlier.
Founder Securities shares, trading for the first time since Aug. 23, climbed 2.9 percent in Shanghai after it announced it was acquiring the unlisted China Minzu Securities.