* HSI +0.1 pct, H-shares flat, CSI300 -0.1 pct
* Trust product bailout buoys Chinese banks
* Apple suppliers sink after weaker-than-expected forecast
* Huaneng Power, China Life Insurance fall despite profit
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Jan 28 Hong Kong shares lingered at
five-month lows early on Tuesday, with mainland Chinese markets
also sluggish as many investors remained jittery ahead of key
central bank meetings in the United States and Turkey.
The Chinese banking sector broadly rebounded after China
Credit Trust said an agreement will avert a possible trust
default. Apple Inc suppliers tanked after the company
reported lower-than-expected holiday iPhone sales and a weak
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent at
21,996.2 points, while the China Enterprises Index of
the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong was flat. Both closed
on Monday at their lowest since end-August.
Losses in the three sessions before Tuesday took about 5
percent off the Hang Seng and H-share indexes.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings slipped 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index inched up 0.1 percent. Both briefly
tested their weakest intra-day levels in a week.
"The deal to avert default is a source of relief for many,
but it's a clear warning on the scale of the risks that still
remain with other trust products due to mature this year," said
Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity
The U.S. Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy
meeting later in the day and could decide to further scale back
its bond-buying programme. Investors are also watching what the
Turkish central bank might do to defend its currency.
On Tuesday, mid-sized lender China Minsheng Bank
rebounded 4.2 percent in Hong Kong after
closing on Monday at its lowest since July 4. Its Shanghai
listing rose 1 percent.
The sector was also buoyed by a 150 billion yuan injection
in 14-day reverse repos by the Chinese central bank on Tuesday
at its first of two weekly scheduled open market operations.
This eased fears of a cash crunch ahead of month-end and the
Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Friday.
Still, in a sign of how much the slowdown in the world's
second-largest economy is affecting Chinese banks, shareholders
at another mid-sized lender, CITIC Bank
agreed to more than double bad-loan writeoffs for 2013.
Investors also returned to the sectors that outperformed in
the last year, such as Macau casinos and Chinese technology.
Galaxy Entertainment rose 3 percent, while Tencent
Holdings jumped 3.4 percent.
Lenovo Group surged 5.1 percent after research
firm IDC said the company ranked fifth-largest in the global
smartphone market. For the industry, global shipments topped 1
billion units for first time in 2013, climbing 38.4 percent from
the previous year.
LOSSES DESPITE POSITIVE PROFIT ALERTS
There were losses for Chinese power producers and Chinese
insurers after key firms issued profit alerts that fell short of
expectations, suggesting the coming earnings season could limit
Huaneng Power dived 5 percent in Hong
Kong and 2.2 percent in Shanghai after a profit alert expecting
2013 net profit to increase by at least 75 percent. Credit
Suisse analysts said this implies profit that could be 13
percent below consensus expectations.
China Life Insurance shed 1.4 percent in Hong Kong
after saying it expects 2013 net profit to jump 120 percent from
a year earlier. Deutsche Bank analysts say these numbers alluded
to a soft fourth quarter, but they expected an improved outlook
later this year.
There were losses for Apple suppliers after the company
forecast sales of $42 billion to $44 billion this quarter,
brisker than usual, but short of Wall Street expectations for
$46 billion, on average.
Hong Kong-listed AAC Technology and
Shenzhen-listed Goertek each fell more than 5