* Guangdong shares rise on Pearl River Delta FTZ plans
* China property gain on comments from former official
* Summit Ascent Holdings jump on casino project stake
By Natalie Thomas
BEIJING, April 24 China shares were mixed on
Thursday as free trade zone development plans dominated trading,
while Hong Kong stocks found support from earnings and a rebound
in China Unicom.
The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings edged up 0.1 percent by midday, while
the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1 percent at
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent at 22,533.20
points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong gained 0.3 percent.
Shanghai free trade zone firms continued to pull back after
strong gains earlier in the week. Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade
Zone Development Co Ltd fell 2.3 percent and
Shanghai Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone Development Co Ltd
dropped 4.1 percent by the lunch break.
But stocks with an exposure to the Pearl River Delta got an
extra boost after the Guangdong provincial government said it
would speed up the development of a free trade zone in the
region, which would link Guangdong with Macau and Hong Kong.
Gemdale Corp shares jumped 10 percent, the daily
trading maximum, while Huafa Industrial Co Ltd Zhuhai
shares were up 5.2 percent. Shenzhen Yan Tian Port
Holdings Co Ltd gained 3.7 percent.
Property stocks also gained after Chinese media reported a
former official saying that the government would act cautiously
to try and deflate the country's property bubble and that house
purchase restrictions may soon be relaxed.
The CSI real estate sub-index jumped 2.15
percent on the news, with Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd
gaining 2.7 percent and Beijing Homyear Real Estate
Co Ltd up 2.6 percent.
In Hong Kong, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd was the
biggest gainer on the Hang Seng, rising 2.8 percent after
investors bought back the stock following a sell-off on
Wednesday when its main competitor China Mobile Ltd
posted its worst quarterly results in 5 years.
"Yesterday's reaction was too drastic," said Alex Wong,
director of asset management at Ample Finance Group.
"Unicom in the short term should do better than China Mobile
because China Mobile needs to dump a lot of money on expanding
Shares of GOME Electrical Appliances rose as much
as 6.3 percent during morning trade, hitting their highest since
April 2012 after the Chinese home appliance retailer said it
expected to see a sharp rise in its first quarter profit.
Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd topped the most
actively traded stocks, surging 12.3 percent after the firm said
it would raise its stake in a casino resort project in Russia by
14 percent for $20.2 million, a deal to be funded by proceeds
from a share sale.
(Additional reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline