* HSI -1.2 pct, H-shares -1.5 pct, CSI300 -1.4 pct
* A-shares return to near 4-year lows, China PMIs fail to
* China booze makers hammered, Kweichow Moutai barely up on
* Haitong Securities slumps after DB downgrade
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Dec 3 Shares on mainland China fell
to their lowest since early 2009 on Monday, dragging Hong Kong
into a loss, as investors shrugged off upbeat Chinese factory
data and booked profits on some recent outperformers.
Stocks of alcohol makers, which were battered in November on
a contamination scare and anti-corruption rhetoric from China's
top leaders, lost ground again as did banking shares after
China's Huaxia Bank blamed an employee for selling a
wealth management product without perimission.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 1.2 percent at
21,767.9 after hitting an intra-day 2012 high at 22,16.5. The
China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in
Hong Kong slid 1.5 percent.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top
Shanghai and Shenzhen listings shed 1.4 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index lost 1 percent. Both closed at their
lowest since February and January in 2009.
The falls came even as markets in Asia were boosted by a
survey showing manufacturing in China quickened for the first
time in 13 months in November.
"There's some profit taking today, the market's gone ahead
of itself with Friday's gains," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich
Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
Losses in Shanghai came in the highest bourse volume since
Nov. 9, while in Hong Kong, turnover on Monday was a third less
Shares of Silver Base, a premium alcohol
distributor in the mainland, fell 4.9 percent after it posted an
85 percent fall in revenue in the six months to end-September.
The stock has now lost 13.2 percent since the company warned
of a profit loss on Nov 20 and is languishing at its lowest
close in three years.
Other alcohol industry heavyweights, Kweichow Moutai
and Wuliangye extended their November
downward spiral, diving 7.3 and 9.9 percent respectively.
The sector was pummelled in November 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
Chinese officials are often presented with gifts of
expensive alcohol by people seeking favours.
Shares of Moutai, which is the most expensive brand in the
sector, was up 28 percent on the year at the end of October, but
is now just 3.6 percent stronger on the year. Moutai has now
wiped out $6.8 billon of its peak $42.8 billion valuation set in
Chinese banks were broadly weaker with Hua Xia falling 4.2
percent in Shanghai while Industrial and Commercial Bank of
China (ICBC) slid 1.5 percent in Hong Kong and 0.5
percent in Shanghai.
Hua Xia Bank blamed a Shanghai branch employee for selling a
wealth management product without permission after Chinese media
said the product could not repay investors.
Chinese property counters were broadly weaker in Hong Kong
as investors took profit, but rose in onshore Chinese markets.
China's home prices edged up for a sixth straight month in
November, a private survey showed, reinforcing signs of a gentle
recovery in the property market as the government seeks to
bolster economic growth.
While China Resource Land lost 2.7 percent in Hong
Kong -- trimming 2012 gains to 61.5 percent, compared to the
Hang Seng Index's 18 percent rise -- Poly Real Estate
climbed 2.4 percent in Shanghai.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Chinese insurers were buoyed by comments from a top official
at the country's securities regulator reiterating a commitment
to broaden investment channels for social security and insurance
Traders at a top Chinese brokerage said A-share funds were
rotating from the mainland banking sector into insurers and
property developers after the positive survey readings over the
In Shanghai, China Life Insurance, the country's
largest insurer, rose 0.9 percent, while smaller rival Ping An
Insurance rose 0.4 percent.
But their strength did little to stop mainland Chinese
markets hitting 2009 lows on Monday despite an editorial in the
state-run China Securities Journal urging A-share investors to
Several lockup expiries in December and a congested IPO
pipeline could force the onshore Chinese market to further
Haitong Securities dived 4.2 percent in heavy
volumes, heading losses among Chinese brokerages in Hong Kong
after a downgrade by Deutsche Bank analysts from "buy" to