* HSI flat, H-shares -0.3 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct
* ICBC shares down after Goldman sells $1 bln stake
* GOME drops after warning of 2012 net loss
* Chinese property up on more reports of warming market
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Jan 29 Hong Kong shares held steady
at Monday's 20-month closing high, underperforming Asian peers
largely due to a weak Chinese banking sector after Goldman Sachs
sold a $1 billion stake in Industrial and Commercial Bank of
The Hang Seng Index went into Tuesday's midday
trading break flat. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.3 percent. In spite
of Goldman's ICBC stake sale, turnover at midday was rather
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the largest
Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 0.4 percent,
while the Shanghai Composite Index was flat as volumes
picked up in late morning trade.
"The Chinese banking sector is actually holding up quite
well, but the Goldman sale is triggering some profit taking and
rotation into some laggard energy names today," said Jackson
Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
After the market closed on Monday, Goldman Sachs offered
shares of ICBC at HK$5.77, a 3 percent discount to the
day's near 2-year close at HK$5.95.
On Tuesday, the shares slid 2.4 percent to HK$5.81 - which
pointed to healthy demand for the bank, given that the stock
dropped less than 3 percent.
Still, there were losses on Tuesday for most Chinese banking
shares in both onshore and offshore markets. ICBC's
shares in Shanghai fell 0.9 percent, while Bank of Communication
shed 0.9 percent in Hong Kong and 1 percent in
China Business News reported that the country's banking
regulator is examining ways to improve the current system used
to monitor the loan-to-deposit ratios of mainland commercial
Shares of Bain Capital-backed GOME Electrical Appliance
dropped 1.1 percent after China's second-largest home
appliance retailer said late on Monday that it expects to have
suffered a loss last year partly due to its unprofitable
Tuesday's fall cut GOME gains in January to 2.2 percent. The
stock tumbled 49 percent in 2012, its third straight year of
GOME's larger rival Suning Appliance Co Ltd shed
1.4 percent in Shenzhen on Tuesday.
CHINA PROPERTY STRONG
Strength in the Chinese property sector helped limit losses
in Hong Kong and propel mainland markets to new highs since
mid-2012 as investors welcomed more news reports of a warming
property sector in the world's second-largest economy.
The official China Securities Journal reported that January
land sales in Beijing hit a 11-year high, while the Shanghai
Daily said that average homes prices in Shanghai rose to a
30-week high, though mainly due to demand at a high-end project
in the city's Hongkou district.
China Vanke rose 2.8 percent to its highest
since August 2009 in Shenzhen, while Poly Real Estate
gained 1.9 percent in Shanghai. China Resources Land
edged up 0.6 percent in Hong Kong.
Rising oil prices helped Chinese oil giants CNOOC
rise 0.9 percent and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec)
gain 1.3 percent in Hong Kong.