* HSI -0.1 pct, H-shares +0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct
* Subscription period for four IPOs begins
* China property sector rebounds despite soft home price
* Chow Tai Fook at over 2-month high on solid results
(Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, June 18 China shares finished the
morning session lower on Wednesday, as banks continued to pull
back after recent strong gains, while Hong Kong stocks were flat
in muted volumes.
In the mainland, the first four Chinese companies to push
ahead with initial public offerings after a four-month lull have
started to take subscriptions and aim to raise a combined 1.7
billion yuan ($273.8 million). Seven IPOs have been approved.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index ticked down 0.1
percent at 23,192.79 points. The China Enterprises Index
of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings edged down 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent at 2,056.35 points.
Midday volume in Hong Kong was the weakest this month, and
some 20 percent below its average over the past 20 sessions.
"The Hong Kong market is kind of stuck at the current level,
waiting for some breakthrough. Whether China can sustain its
rebound is a key," said Jackson Wong, vice-president of Tanrich
He added that for fund managers, the World Cup is drawing
some attention away from the market.
Data released on Wednesday showed China's average new home
prices edged down for the first time in two years in May,
underlining a downtrend taking hold in the market as the economy
Despite downbeat figures, the property sector rebounded
slightly with the CSI property sub index up 0.4
percent after falling for the previous two sessions. Poly Real
Estate Group and China Vanke held on to
slim midday gains of 0.4 and 0.5 percent.
"People are worried about a slump in housing prices. As long
as it's not a slump, the impact won't be too big," said Liu
Jingde from Cinda Securities in Beijing.
In Shanghai, the biggest index drags Agricultural Bank of
China lost 2.0 percent and Bank of China
shed 1.4 percent.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group climbed 3.5 percent
to its highest since April 11 after posting solid results late
on Tuesday. The company said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy
U.S.-based diamond jeweller Hearts on Fire Co for $150 million
in a move to extend its high-end product range.
CITIC Pacific Ltd rose 1.4 percent after it said
late Tuesday that 10 new investors had agreed to buy its shares.
($1 = 6.2090 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)
($1 = 7.7515 Hong Kong Dollars)
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)