Hong Kong shares slip from 3-week highs ahead of more China data

Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:42pm EST

* HSI -0.3 pct, H-shares -0.9 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct

* Index reviews: BYD, Mengniu, Cinda jump after inclusion

* New anti-pollution fund buoys environment mgt, clean energy plays

* Prada sinks after 2013 sales growth misses estimates

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares slipped from three-week highs on Thursday, with index reviews driving major price moves and as investors took stock of recent robust gains ahead of more China data.

"There are some big reactions on individual stocks due to the index review in Hong Kong today, but by and large people are just waiting for data or new catalysts after the strong gains in recent sessions," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.

Beijing is due to post January money supply and loan growth data by Saturday, with inflation figures due on Friday. Trade data on Wednesday had handily beat expectations, but there was scepticism given past distortions from fake trade transactions.

At midday, the Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings each crept up 0.1 percent. Both are now near their highest since the turn of the year.

The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3 percent to 22,228.4 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 0.9 percent. Both had closed on Wednesday at their highest since Jan. 24.

The outcome of index reviews drove some of the more significant price moves in Hong Kong.

China Cinda Asset Management climbed 3.4 percent after its inclusion in the MSCI China effective after markets shut Feb. 28. Shares of the bad debt manager will also be added to the list of stocks in Hong Kong eligible for short selling on Friday.

China Coal Energy H share dived more than 3 percent and Zoomlion Heavy Industry H share slid 2.5 percent after their exclusion from the Hang Seng and China Enterprises indexes, respectively.

Their replacements, China Mengniu Dairy jumped 4.5 percent, while Warren Buffett-backed electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd surged 6.7 percent. Citic Pacific, which some in the market had expected to be dropped from the Hang Seng Index, spiked 6 percent.

Environmental protection and clean energy-related firms were additionally buoyed by a government statement late on Wednesday quoting Premier Li Keqiang as telling a cabinet meeting that the central government would set up the 10 billion yuan fund to "use rewards to replace subsidies to fight air pollution in key areas."

BYD's A-share listing in Shenzhen soared 7.8 percent. In Hong Kong, Beijing Enterprises Water jumped 4.4 percent, while China Everbright International spiked 3.7 percent.

Shares of Italian fashion house Prada tanked 4.8 percent after reporting late on Wednesday sales growth slowed more-than-expected to 9 percent in the year that ended Jan. 31, from 29 percent in the previous year.

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