4 Min Read
* HSI flat, H-shares -0.1 pct, CSI300 +0.6 pct
* 'Big Four' China banks lackluster despite higher state stakes
* China property H-shares slide after home-price data
* Macau casino sector jumps on prelim gambling revenue
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, June 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended little changed after two days of gains with investors selling recent outperformers and turnover low as markets braced for the U.S. Federal Reserve policymaking meeting beginning later on Tuesday.
Mainland China markets eked slim gains, but short-term funding costs remained sky high despite a negligible cash injection by the People's Bank of China. The cash squeeze could stay until early July as the quarter-end looms.
The Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.1 percent on the lowest volume in a month, while the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings rose 0.6 percent.
The Hang Seng Index closed flat at 21,225.88 points, and the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent. Turnover was some 10 percent below its average in the past 20 sessions.
Both Hong Kong indexes are languishing near their lowest since the third quarter last year. The H-share index has corrected nearly 15 percent from a May peak, largely after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said it may "take a step down" in bond purchases in coming months.
"This correction has created some opportunities for investors with a longer time horizon, but it's still quite a tough sell right now, with most just waiting to see what the Fed will do," said Wang Ao-chao, UOB Kay Hian's Shanghai-based head of research.
"Some money may flow from India and Southeast Asia into China equities at some point later this year, but at this moment, there are just too many sources of uncertainty," Wang added.
Most Chinese property developers listed in Hong Kong surrendered Monday's share advances after official data showed mainland home prices rose at the fastest pace this year in May, though the rate of monthly gains slowed.
China Overseas Land dropped 1.7 percent and China Resources Land fell 1.2 percent. CR Land announced after markets shut on Monday that its chairman was stepping down.
Their rivals listed in the mainland held onto gains after Monday's stiff losses. China Vanke was up 1.1 percent in Shenzhen and Poly Real Estate rose 1.4 percent in Shanghai.
GCL-Poly Energy plunged 12.4 percent to HK$1.84 after a China Investment Corporation unit sold 1.2 billion shares - 7.75 percent of the solar energy firm's share capital - at HK$1.87 each.
Shenzhou International Group also saw heavy volumes, tumbling 5.3 percent after unveiling plans to sell 69 million new shares at HK$22.40 apiece, a 9.1 percent discount to Monday's close.
The Macau casino sector outperformed on positive preliminary gambling revenue data. Galaxy Entertainment spiked 6 percent to a record high, while MGM China surged 7.3 percent.
Chow Tai Fook slid 1.7 percent ahead of its final earnings for the financial year ended March 31. Now down more than 30 percent in 2013, the stock is trading at 12 times forward 12-month earnings, an 11 percent discount to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
China state investor Central Huijin's move to increase its A-share stakes in the country's "Big Four" banks failed to ignite markets in the mainland and Hong Kong. Their H-share listings were all down on Tuesday.
In Shanghai, Agricultural Bank of China (AgBank) , China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) had gains of less than 1 percent, while Bank of China sank 0.7 percent.