China shares sink to 2-week low, property-related sectors hit by tightening fears

HONG KONG Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:00pm EST

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HONG KONG Feb 24 (Reuters) - China shares sank to a two-week low early on Monday, dragging Hong Kong markets down, led by property and banking counters as mainland news reports stoked fears that the banks have stopped extending loans to property-related companies.

At 0140 GMT, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was down 2.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.7 percent at 2,076.9 points.

The Hang Seng Index was down 1 percent, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down more than 2 percent.

China Vanke dived more than 6 percent in Shenzhen and Poly Real Estate tanked more than 7 percent in Shanghai. In Hong Kong, Agile Property tumbled nearly 7 percent, while China Overseas Land sank 4.1 percent.

The official Shanghai Securities News, among other publications, reported on Monday that some banks have started to tighten loans to steel, cement and other property-related sectors. Several banks have issued denials.

Average home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 9.6 percent in January 2014 from a year earlier, easing from the previous month's 9.9 percent rise, according to Reuters calculations based on official data published on Monday.

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