* HSI +0.5 pct, H-shares +0.4 pct, CSI300 flat
* Midday volumes in HK and Shanghai among year's weakest
* Li & Fung lifted by UBS upgrade, chairman's comments
* ANTA Sports jumps after better-than-expected Q1 SSSG
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, May 15 Hong Kong stocks rebounded
from a one-week low on Wednesday with a 7 percent surge in
shares of top supply chain manager Li & Fung after its
chairman said he expected earnings to rise to 2011 levels while
UBS upgraded the stock.
Mainland China markets were broadly flat, with midday
volumes in both on and offshore Chinese markets among the
weakest this year as Premier Li Keqiang warned that the country
has limited scope for policy stimulus to boost the economy.
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.5 percent at
23,046.3 after closing on Tuesday at its lowest since May 6. The
China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings rose
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings was flat, while the Shanghai Composite Index
slipped 0.1 percent in the weakest midday bourse volumes
in a month.
"I think people are still quite complacent, the official
tolerance for a China growth slowdown is substantially higher
than what people think," said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank
of Communication International Securities.
Growth-sensitive counters such as China Coal
were among the bigger underperformers,
diving 5.2 percent in Hong Kong, while slipping 0.9 percent in
Gains so far on Wednesday lifted Li & Fung to its
highest since March after its chairman, William Fung, said 2013
earnings would rebound to 2011 level as most performance targets
have been met, according to Hong Kong media.
Shares of the supply chain manager for Walmart Stores Inc
and Target Corp were also helped by an upgrade
by UBS analysts from "sell" to "neutral," assuming a lower
settlement of payables for the company.
There were also strong gains for ANTA Sports,
which soared 6.4 percent as investors cheered its flat
same-store sales growth in the first quarter after the company
had warned of negative figures for the first two months of the
year while reporting its 2012 annual results.
Sun-Art Retail climbed 2 percent after China's
largest hypermarket chain by market capitalisation said
first-quarter net profit rose 16 percent from a year earlier as
it continued to expand into lower-tier Chinese cities.
SJM Holdings climbed 2.8 percent to a record high
and could extend gains after the Macau casino operator said at
midday the Macau government has given it the go-ahead for a
project on the Cotai strip in the gambling hub.