* HSI -0.1 pct, H-shares -0.2 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct
* New China Life Insurance drops after report says Temasek
* AIA intraday level hits record high on strong H1 new
* Five IPOs draw 415.5 billion yuan in high demand
(Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, July 25 China shares are headed for
their best weekly gain in 3-1/2 months on Friday, powered by
continued strength in blue chips including bank stocks that is
helping mainland markets outperform Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's benchmark index hovered around its highest in
more than three years, while the H-share index slipped slightly
on profit-taking. Both are set for their best week since May and
By midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index
each added 0.5 percent to their highest since mid-April.
The SSEC stood at 2,115.53 points.
They are now up 3.9 and 2.7 percent this week, respectively.
The Hang Seng Index inched 0.1 percent lower at
24,129.38 points, after hitting its highest since April 2011 the
previous session. The China Enterprises Index of the top
Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.2 percent.
On the week, the two indexes rose 2.9 and 4.5 percent,
"Some consolidation is in place. Earlier this week we have
experienced a rally in Hong Kong stock market, with both trading
volumes and stock prices going up," said Mark To, head of
research at Wing Fung Financial Group.
"The uptrend is rather healthy because most of the
blue-chips and also the larger-cap stocks are beneficiaries," he
said, adding that he expected the Hang Seng to hit another high
in the next few weeks.
AIA Group climbed 0.5 percent, trimming gains from
market opening which helped it hit a record high.
AIA Group, second-largest insurer in Asia by market
capitalisation, on Friday reported a 23 percent rise in the
value of new business in the first half of the year, led by
strong growth in Hong Kong and China.
New China Life Insurance was the biggest
decliner in percentage terms, sinking 4.1 percent after a media
report said Singapore sovereign investor Temasek had sold its
entire holding in the insurer.
Chinese coal firms extended gains, shrugging off comments
from an industry association leader on Thursday that problems
facing the sector were expected to get worse, with prices eroded
by falling demand growth, a worsening supply glut and a war on
China Shenhua Energy , the mainland's
largest coal producer, gained 1.7 percent in Shanghai and 0.7
percent in Hong Kong.
Solid gains this week were matched by robust volumes, with
Thursday turnover in Shanghai hitting the highest this year.
At the same time, the five initial public offerings which
started taking subscriptions on Wednesday locked up 415.5
billion yuan ($67.06 billion), beating many research forecasts,
the official Shanghai Securities News reported.
($1 = 6.1963 Chinese Yuan)
(Editing by Eric Meijer)