* China Mobile shares down on weak Q1 results
* Tencent up after Nasdaq rally
* Mainland IPO total rises to 65
By Natalie Thomas
BEIJING, April 23 Hong Kong shares eased on
Wednesday, hurt by a sell-off in telecoms shares after the
mainland's biggest carrier China Mobile posted its third
straight quarterly decline in profits.
Shares on the mainland were also hit by a preliminary survey
showing manufacturing activity contracted for a fourth straight
month in April, while the spectre of more listings also unnerved
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.72 percent
at 22,565.89 points. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong dropped 1.1 percent.
The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings was down 0.3 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5 percent at
China Mobile Ltd shares fell 2.5 percent after the
company posted another quarterly profit decline, with this
quarter's figure the lowest in five years, as messaging apps
continue to eat away at its core revenue.
China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, the country's No.2
mobile service provider, also saw its shares take a hit on the
news, losing 2.3 percent by the lunch break.
As traditional communications shares fell, shares in Tencent
, the originator of Wechat, a popular messaging app
responsible in part for the decline in profits at China Mobile,
gained 1.9 percent.
The stock was boosted by a rally on the Nasdaq index
overnight in the United States as technology stocks clawed back
losses from the sell-off in previous few weeks.
"That's given confidence that technology stocks might be
able to stabilise at the current level," said Jackson Wong,
Tanrich Securities Vice President for equity sales in Hong Kong.
Shares in Haitong International Securities Group Ltd
tumbled 8.6 percent, its biggest fall in over 2-1/2
years, after the brokerage announced plans for a $413 mln rights
issue to strengthen its capital base.
Mainland shares dipped into negative territory after the
HSBC/Markit flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) ticked up to
48.3 in April, an improvement on March's final reading of 48.0,
but still below the 50 line separating expansion from
Meanwhile, China's regulator posted draft IPO prospectuses
of a further 19 companies on its website on Tuesday night,
raising concerns new listings may lead to funds being diverted
from existing companies into the new stocks. The new batch paves
the way for a total of 65 firms to launch IPOs.
Shanghai's Free Trade Zone stocks saw some of the biggest
losses, as investors locked in gains from the previous day's
trade after the city's municipal government published new
regulations aimed at facilitating commodities trading in the
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co Ltd
, the biggest gainer on Tuesday, contracted 3.1
percent and Shanghai Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone Development
Co Ltd lost 2.5 percent. Shanghai International Port
Group Ltd was down 2.6 percent.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)