Hong Kong shares slip on possible China bond default

HONG KONG, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 3:05am EST

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HONG KONG, March 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares sank on Wednesday, led by cyclical counters, as China set a lower target for growth in fixed asset investment this year and a mainland listed company said it expects to default on bond payments.

The Hang Seng Index finished down 0.3 percent at 22,579.8 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 1.2 percent.

In what would be the country's first domestic bond default, loss-making Chinese solar equipment producer Chaori Solar said it will not be able to meet interest payments on bonds due on Friday.

At Wednesday's start of China's annual parliament meeting, Premier Li Keqiang said the target for economic growth this year is 7.5 percent, the same as set for 2013.

China's economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, told parliament that the government will target 17.5 percent growth in fixed-asset investment this year, the slowest in 12 years. The target for 2013 was 19.6 percent.

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