* HSI +0.5 pct, H-shares +0.7 pct, CSI300 flat
* HK-listed Chinese insurers outperform after Morgan Stanley
* Kingsoft tumbles due to weaker-than-expected earnings
* Pharmaceutical sector strong on China healthcare reforms
(Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, May 29 Hong Kong shares rose on
Thursday, lifted by Chinese insurers which posted strong gains
after Morgan Stanley upgraded the sector.
China shares were flat at midday despite strength in the
pharmaceutical sector, buoyed by newly announced reform policies
allowing more access to the healthcare system by private
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.5 percent at 23,186.78
points, edging closer to its April highs. The China Enterprises
Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong jumped
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index both
ended the morning session flat. The Shanghai benchmark index
stood at 2,050.54 points.
"We are doing the HSI futures settlement today, so maybe we
will see more volatility breaking out in the afternoon session,"
said Steven Leung, sales director at brokerage UOB Kay Hian,
about the Hong Kong market.
Chinese insurers were the standout index performers in Hong
Kong. China Life Insurance added another 2.4 percent
after Wednesday's 3 percent jump, while PICC Property and
Casualty gained 2.0 percent, after Morgan Stanley
upgraded the two insurers from "equalweight" to "overweight".
In the Chinese onshore market, health-related stocks
flourished. Among top CSI300 percentage gainers, Jiangsu Hengrui
Medicine was up 2.9 percent and Shanghai Fosun
Pharmaceutical Group climbed 2.4 percent.
China will allow more private capital into the healthcare
system, the government said on Wednesday, as it deepens a
sweeping overhaul of its healthcare system aimed at cutting
costs and sprucing up overloaded public services.
China software company Kingsoft tumbled 10 percent
in Hong Kong after its first quarter results on Wednesday failed
to meet market expectations.
Shares of home appliances retailer Huiyin Household
Appliances (Holdings) Co Ltd surged as much as 50
percent to their highest in 16 months after the smaller rival of
Suning and GOME said it would expand into
the lottery sales business in China, leveraging on its retail
sales channel in the country.
Shares of Suning fell 0.9 percent in Shenzhen while GOME was
down 2.9 percent in Hong Kong on concerns over price competition
amid weak consumer sentiment in the mainland.
(Additional reporting by Donny Kwok in Hong Kong and Chen Yixin
in Shanghai; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)