* HSI +0.1 pct, H-shares -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.4 pct
* Chinese alcohol sector weak after distributor bad earnings
* Wharf Holdings nears highest in three years
* Chinese insurers, property counters buck A-share weakness
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Dec 3 Onshore Chinese shares eased on
Monday despite positive economic data, crimping Hong Kong gains
as investors took profits on outperformers, with the mainland
banking and alcohol sectors among the biggest index drags.
Surveys showing the world's second-largest economy quickened
for the first time in 13 months in November failed to ignite
markets after investors had cheered comments from China's
vice-premier last Friday on the key role urbanization will play
in the country's development.
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break up 0.1 percent at 22,060.8, after earlier testing a new
intra-day 2012 high at 22,162.5. The China Enterprises Index
of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.2
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top
Shanghai and Shenzhen listings fell 0.4 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.3 percent.
"It's looking pretty quiet today. There's a fair amount of
profit taking going on after last Friday's gains," said Jackson
Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
On Monday, Wharf Holdings climbed 2.8 percent to
near its highest in nearly three years, leading strength among
Hong Kong developers. It is now up 75 percent on the year,
compared with the Hang Seng Index's 20 percent rise.
Chinese alcohol producers once again suffered stiff losses
after Silver Base, a premium alcohol distributor in
the mainland, fell 4.5 percent in Hong Kong after posting an 85
percent fall in revenue in the six months to end-September.
It has lost 12.5 percent since it warned of a profit loss on
Nov. 20 and is languishing at its lowest in more than two years.
Sector heavyweights Kweichow Moutai and
Wuliangye extended their November downward spiral,
diving 5.3 and 5.8 percent respectively.
The sector has been plummelled by a contamination scare
involving Jiugui Liquor and anti-corruption rhetoric
by top leaders as they gathered at the 18th Communist Party
Congress for China's once-in-a-decade political transition.
Chinese banking shares in the mainland were also weak after
Huaxia Bank blamed a Shanghai branch employee for
selling a wealth management product without permission, which
local media reported could not repay investors.
Huaxia shed 3.7 percent and was among the most actively
traded stocks among CSI300 components. Its weakness hurt its
sector rivals, with Bank of Communications down 1
Traders at a top Chinese brokerage said funds are rotating
from the mainland banking sector into insurers and property
developers after the positive survey readings over the weekend.
Chinese insurers were broadly stronger after a top official
at the country's securities regulator reiterated the body's
commitment to broaden investment channels for social security
and insurance funds.
China Life Insurance rose 1.7 percent
in Shanghai and 0.2 percent in Hong Kong. Ping An Insurance
rose 1.3 percent in Shanghai and 0.3
percent in Hong Kong.
Chinese property stocks were standout performers in the
A-share market, with Poly Real Estate rising 3.5
percent, while China Vanke gained 2.1 percent.
But the sector, along with the railway and
infrastructure-related counters that rallied on Friday, was
broadly weaker in Hong Kong.