* HSI slips 0.1 pct on Friday, gains 1 pct this week
* Local properties fall on fears of fresh curbs
* Strength in defensive stocks as investors remain cautious
HONG KONG, Feb 15 Hong Kong shares eked out slim
gains on Friday, weighed down by large-cap financial and
property stocks, with many investors waiting for direction from
mainland China markets when they reopen next week after the
Lunar New Year holiday.
Defensive counters generally outperformed as investors
remained cautious amid speculation of further government
tightening measures in both Hong Kong and mainland China.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent for the day,
ending at 23,444.6 points, and finished the holiday-shortened
week up 1 percent.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong gained 0.2 percent and rose 1.7 percent
over the two-day trading week.
Turnover in Hong Kong remained weak as many market players
were still away for the holiday. Mainland Chinese markets were
shut for the week and will resume trading on Feb. 18.
"The holiday mode is still there and we are waiting for the
reopening of the A-share market," said Linus Yip, strategist at
First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong.
The Hang Seng Index fell 2.1 percent last week, its worst
weekly loss since November.
Yip said investors in both on- and offshore property markets
were wary of further housing policy curbs.
"What we are all waiting for is more information coming
out," Yip said.
Hong Kong real estate developers reported strong sales
figures during the Lunar New Year holiday, triggering fears that
the government might announce further measures to contain
surging home prices.
Local property developer Wharf Holdings fell 0.7
percent, while Sun Hung Kai Properties dropped 0.4
percent. Cheung Kong Holdings fell 0.3 percent.
Hong Kong-listed Chinese real estate plays gained for the
second consecutive day after major mainland developers posted
strong home sales in January. China Overseas Land rose
1.6 percent, while China Resources Land climbed 2.1
Popular defensive plays were broadly higher on Friday.
Tencent Holdings rose 1 percent, while Hutchison
Whampoa gained 0.9 percent. Hong Kong utilities
provider Power Assets was up 1.4 percent.
Macau gambling stocks remained strong after the territory
posted record visitor arrivals from mainland China on Thursday.
Sands China Ltd gained 2.7 percent, while Wynn Macau
Ltd rose 1.2 percent.
Shares in Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd rose 7.7
percent to their highest since November 2010, after its January
car sales jumped 67 percent year-on-year.
China Metal International Holdings Inc rose 3.8
percent after its unaudited revenue for January rose to $25.8
million from $20.8 million a year ago.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, the world's
largest exchange company by market value, rose 1.5 percent after
announcing plans to offer after-hours futures trading from