* HSI -0.3 pct, H-shares -0.9 pct, CSI300 -0.7 pct
* Chinese banking shares weak after recent outperformance
* Galaxy Entertainment at record high
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Dec 20 Hong Kong shares slipped from
near 17-month highs in lackluster Thursday trade as investors
took profits on recent outperformers after doubts emerged over
progress on averting a fiscal crisis in the United States.
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break down 0.3 percent at 22,549.2, retreating from its highest
close since Aug. 1, 2011. The China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong dropped 0.9 percent.
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen listings shed 0.7 percent, on course for a first
daily loss in five days. The Shanghai Composite Index
slipped 0.5 percent.
"Trading at this time of the year can be quite tricky," said
Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity
sales. "Investors are rotating out of outperformers and into
some laggards on some Chinese policy catalysts."
On Thursday, Chinese banking plays were key weaknesses in
both China and Hong Kong markets, extending losses after the
mainland's banking regulator ordered banks to tighten checks on
the sale of third-party financial products.
Shares of Bank of China (BOC) in Hong
Kong, which touched 52-week intra-day highs twice earlier this
week, slipped 0.6 percent. BOC shares in Shanghai shed 0.7
Growth-sensitive counters were also broadly weaker. Anhui
Conch Cement slid 3.1 percent in Hong Kong,
set for a third-straight daily loss after hitting on Monday its
highest intra-day levels since November 2011. In Shanghai,
Anhui's shares shed 2.2 percent.
Sentiment in onshore Chinese markets was also hurt by news
that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is
toughening up its rules on bond issuance, including banning
over-indebted firms from selling new bonds.
This reignited fears of oversupply in the stock market,
dousing hopes that the more than 800 companies that have
reportedly applied for stock listings could look to the bond
market as an alternate method of raising funds.
CHINA WIND POWER EXTEND GAINS
Bucking market weakness were some Chinese alternative energy
counters, which extended gains after mainland news outlets
reported that Beijing approved a second group of wind power
The state-run China Securities Journal newspaper reported on
Thursday that the State Council has issued new measures to
support the solar industry, including subsidies and tax breaks
to also benefit the wind power industry.
China Longyuan Power Group climbed 1 percent in
Galaxy Entertainment Group jumped 4.2 percent to a
record high, set for a fourth-straight daily gain after Deutsche
Bank analysts upgraded on Monday its target price by 5.4