* HSI +0.5 pct, H-shares +0.7 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct
* HK indexes post 2nd best weekly gain in 2013, but turnover
* Chalco jumps in short squeeze ahead of HSCE rebalancing
* CR Power sinks on merger news as trading resumes
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, May 10 Hong Kong shares finished
their best week since the start of the year at a near
three-month high on Friday, led by cyclicals as investors
stretched a rebound from April lows despite patchy Chinese
Chinese banks were among the top index boosts, offsetting
the impact of profit-taking on recently outperforming
The Chinese central bank reiterated late on Thursday their
focus on inflation despite the country's patchy economic
recovery, with more economic data due in the coming days.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent on the day and
2.8 percent on the week to 23,321.2 points, its highest closing
level since mid February. The China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent on Friday
and 4.6 percent this week.
Gains this week were their best since the week that ended
Jan. 4 and their third consecutive, but came in weak turnover on
the week that has lingered around its 52-week average for more
than a month.
Still, Hong Kong indexes outperformed their onshore Chinese
peers on the week. The Shanghai Composite Index and
CSI300 each climbed 1.9 percent for their
second-straight weekly gain. They gained 0.6 and 0.5 percent on
"It's highly unlikely we will see a rate cut from the
Chinese central bank after the statement last night, so there's
little catalyst for a meaningful rally from here," said Hong
Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communication International.
"It's still not a good environment to take too much risk at
this point, I won't be surprised if a selloff happens at some
point in May," he added.
On Friday, China Resources Power dived 10 percent
to HK$22.85 in its worst single-day loss since June 2008 as its
shares traded for the first time this week after being suspended
The company announced it will merge with China Resources Gas
, whose shares fell 3.9 percent to HK$21, offering 97
new China Resources Power shares for every 100 China Resources
Gas shares held, in a non-cash deal.
Investors punished CR Power's offer, which represents a
value of HK$24.64 per China Resources Gas' share, or a premium
of 12.8 percent over its last closing price last week.
CR Power also said on Friday it would buy wind farms in 10
provinces in China from its controlling shareholder, sate-owned
conglomerate China Resources (Holdings) Co Ltd, for HK$4.3
billion ($553 million).
CHALCO LEADS BETA GAINS
Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) jumped 5.9
percent in Hong Kong as investors rushed to cover short bets
ahead of the release of the quarterly review of the Hang Seng
family of indexes after markets close for the week.
Chalco, which was excluded from the Hang Seng Index at the
previous review, has been speculated as a possible exclusion
from the China Enterprises Index at this review. Its Shanghai
listing climbed 1.7 percent.
Gains on Friday helped Chalco jump 12.9 percent in Hong Kong
this week, its best since October 2011, while also cutting
losses on the year to 8.7 percent. This compares to a 0.8
percent dip in the H-share index in 2013.
China's largest aluminum producer also announced late on
Thursday it will sell about 8.2 billion yuan of assets,
including production plants to mainly its parent company,
according to filings to the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
Chalco's gains on Friday bucked weakness for other
commodities-related counters as investors took some profits
after solid gains this week that were in many cases, underpined
by robust volumes as physical markets recovered from an April
Any futher rebound from April lows will have to depend on
Chinese banks, which have the biggest weightings in indexes in
Hong Kong and China. That sector was broadly stronger on Friday
ahead of China's April data for money supply and loan growth.
After markets closed, data showed Chinese banks lent 792.9
billion yuan ($129.3 billion) of new local currency loans in
April, missing market expectations for 800 billion yuan and
lower than March's 1.06 trillion yuan.
China extended 1.75 trillion yuan ($285.44 billion) worth of
total social financing in April, central bank data showed on
Friday, down from 2.54 trillion yuan seen in March.
Beijing is due to release April data for urban investment,
industrial output and retail sales on Monday.