* HSI -1.6 pct, H-shares -2 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct
* Commodities carnage weighs on related stocks, copper
* Belle sinks after quarter's drop in same-store footwear
* China internet deals: Citic Bank, ChinaVision soar
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, March 12 China shares fell less than
others in Asia on Wednesday, limiting Hong Kong losses, as
property developers rose on hopes the country's annual
parliamentary meetings will end without announcing additional
curbs on the sector.
More China macroeconomic data is due on Thursday and could
add to slowdown fears after a disappointing series of February
data during recent days. While this has sparked some talk of
monetary easing, physical commodities markets have taken a
The carnage had started with iron ore prices on Monday and
continued with copper on Wednesday, with Shanghai copper falling
by its 5 percent daily limit and London copper touching a
At midday, the CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.2 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.6 percent. The MSCI
Asia ex-Japan was down 1.3 percent at 0400 GMT.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.6 percent to 21,916.6
points, its lowest since Feb. 11. The China Enterprises Index
of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong
slid 2 percent.
"There's some talk about a cut in reserve requirements for
banks after the weak data earlier this week, but it's not so
straightforward this time round because of Beijing's reform
agenda," said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai
Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that a cut would
be triggered if China's annual growth slips below 7.5 percent
and towards 7.0 percent, citing sources involved in internal
Yip said that Chinese property counters "are getting a small
lift today, but you have to remember how much they corrected
leading into the parliamentary meeting and how bearish people
were about curbs and developers defaulting."
Shenzhen-listed China Vanke climbed 2 percent to
extend a bounce off five-year lows posted in late February,
while Shanghai-listed Poly Real Estate rose 2.2
China's annual parliamentary meetings in Beijing officially
end on Thursday, when official data for urban investment,
industrial output and retail sales are also due.
Jiangxi Copper tumbled 3 percent to an eight-month
low in Hong Kong and has now plunged nearly 12 percent from a
Feb. 18 high. Its Shanghai listing sank 1.3 percent.
Other major commodities-related counters such as oil, coal,
cement and construction each dropped between 2 and 4 percent in
Hong Kong. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec)
H-shares sank 3.9 percent
Belle International tanked 9.8 percent after the
China-focused shoe retailer posted its first decline in
same-store footwear sales. It said December-February sales were
2.7 percent lower than a year earlier. UBS analyst Spencer Leung
said the drop will make Belle's 2014 target of "low
single-digit" same-store sales growth "a stretch".
CHINA INTERNET DEAL FRENZY
Citic Bank soared 7.4 percent in
Shanghai and 2.4 percent in Hong Kong after the official China
Securities Journal reported the mid-sized lender will partner
with Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings
to launch a "virtual" credit card for e-commerce purchases.
Shares of ChinaVision Media Group more than
tripled to HK$2.08 after China's largest e-commerce company
Alibaba Group agreed to buy a controlling stake for $804
million, giving Alibaba access to TV and movie content.
The deal is the second in the internet sector this week.
Earlier, Tencent said it was taking a stake in China's No. 2
online retailer JD.com, with the partnership gunning for
Alibaba's weakness in mobile.