HONG KONG Feb 27 Hong Kong shares finished just
above a two-month low in choppy Wednesday trade, as strong gains
for AIA Group offset weakness in Esprit Holdings
on a day where corporate earnings came into sharp
The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.3 percent at 22,577
points after closing on Tuesday at its lowest since Dec. 21. The
China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in
Hong Kong climbed 0.4 percent.
The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings closed up 1.1 percent at 2,594.7 after falling
to its lowest close since Jan. 17 on Tuesday. The Shanghai
Composite Index rose 0.9 percent.
* AIA Group soared 4.1 percent to a record closing
high after Asia's third-largest insurer posted an 89 percent
growth in 2012 net profit, while announcing plans to open a
representative office in Myanmar.
* Esprit Holdings shed 0.8 percent, reversing
midday gains after posting a far steeper-than-expected loss for
the six months ended December as the region's economic gloom
slashed sales, and its new chief said the next six months were
likely to be just as grim.
* Guangzhou Automobile Group jumped 6 percent from
Tuesday's three-month closing low in strong volumes after UBS
analysts upgraded their rating on the stock from "sell" to
"neutral," while raising their target price by 24 percent.