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HK, China stocks up; Carpenter Tan debut strong

 * Property issues lead gains in Hong Kong
 * China stocks rise on economic, earnings optimism
 * Carpenter Tan up 52 pct on debut, 3rd best debut this year
 (Updates to close)
 HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares
erased losses to end sluggish trading slightly firmer on Tuesday.
China shares rose on optimism over economic recovery and
corporate earnings.
 The benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI ended up 0.09 percent or
19.22 points at 21,499.44 with local property issues aiding the
rise following a correction in the previous session after the
government sold two plots of residential land at prices below
market expectations.
 "A narrow 200-point range suggests the market lacked momentum
to move either way and participants found it uncomfortable to
take positions in thin trade," said Andrew To, a sales director
at Tai Fook Securities. "Players behaved themselves and stayed
away for clearer direction."
 The property sub-index .HSNP outperformed the market,
gaining 1.18 percent. Sun Hung Kai Properties 0016.HK rose 1.6
percent, Cheung Kong 0001.HK climbed 1.75 percent, Henderson
Land 0012.HK gained 0.88 percent, and Sino Land 0083.HK,
which bought land in the auction, closed up 0.54 percent.
 The China Enterprises Index .HSCE of top locally listed
mainland Chinese stocks slid 0.19 percent to 12,644.93 with
Chinese banks and insurers weak on concern over their underlying
policy risks.
 Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance 2318.HK fell 1.19
percent, Bank of China 3988.HK shed 1.21 percent and China
Construction Bank 0939.HK lost 0.61 percent.
 Market turnover was HK$34.42 billion ($4.4 billion), against
Monday's HK$37.89 billion.
 Market debutant Carpenter Tan 0837.HK, a Chinese comb
maker, ended at HK$3.93, up 52.3 percent from its issue price of
HK$2.58. It was the third-best debut on the main board this year
after Amber Energy 0090.HK and BBMG 2009.HK.
 Coating solutions supplier Schramm 0955.HK rose to a
session high of HK$42.30 on its debut, up 14.3 percent from its
issue price of HK$37, before ending at HK$37.70.
 Hunan Nonferrous Metals 2626.HK was in focus as its shares
dropped 20.3 percent to a five-week low of HK$2.87 after it said
its new controlling shareholder may make a general offer for all
outstanding shares it did not own at a highly discounted HK$1.73
each. It ended at HK$3.02, down 16.11 percent.
 China Minmetals Corporation has agreed to take an aggregate
51 percent stake in Hunan Nonferrous Metals Holding Group for
5.595 billion yuan ($819.3 million), making the state-owned
ferrous and nonferrous metals trading house the largest producer
of zinc and antimony in the country. Hunan Nonferrous is the
parent of Hunan Nonferrous Metals Co Ltd. [ID:nTOE5BR06I]
 SHANGHAI UP ON ECONOMY OPTIMISM
 China's key stock index closed up 0.72 percent on Tuesday, as
upbeat expectations for economic recovery and corporate earnings
offset a lacklustre listing debut by train maker CNR Corp
601299.SS and sluggish trading ahead of the end of the year.
 The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC ended at
3,211.76 points, extending a 1.5 percent gain on Monday fuelled
by Premier Wen Jiabao's comments that Beijing was committed to
seeing through its two-year economic stimulus package launched in
late 2008. [ID:nTOE5BR00F]
 Analysts remained bullish about the market's near-term trend.
 "With the economic recovery on a solid footing, pushing up
corporate earnings, most investors are optimistic about the
market's trend for the first quarter of next year," said Cao
Xuefeng, senior stock analyst at Western Securities in Chengdu.
 Brokerages, which are likely to benefit the most from a stock
bull run, outperformed the broader market on Tuesday.
 Top brokerage CITIC Securities 600030.SS closed up 3.11
percent at 30.79 yuan, while smaller rival Haitong Securities
600837.SS added 2.29 percent to 18.80 yuan. Both were among
Tuesday's 10 most actively traded stocks.
 Gaining Shanghai A shares outnumbered losers by 479 to 368 on
thin turnover of 117 billion yuan ($17 billion), although that
was up slightly from Monday's 110 billion yuan.
 "Most of us still believe the market will be able to break
through the 2009 high of 3,478 in the first quarter of next year,
on the back of the strong economy and corporate earnings," said a
Chinese fund manager in Shanghai, who could not be quoted by name
as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
 But CNR Corp, which raised $2 billion this month in the
mainland's fourth-largest initial public stock offering this
year, staged a much weaker-than-forecast debut in Shanghai on
Tuesday, sending a warning on high pricing for future IPOs.
 CNR, one of China's two big train makers, kicked off trading
on the Shanghai Stock Exchange at 5.80 yuan, up 4.32 percent from
its IPO price of 5.56 yuan. The stock closed at 5.69 yuan, up
only 2.34 percent and much weaker than the average market
forecast for a debut day price of 6.70 yuan, or a gain of 21
percent from the IPO price, cited by domestic media.
 "China CNR's IPO price at 49 times its historical PE (price
earnings) ratio was really excessive, even taking into
consideration the domestic industry's prospects," said Chen
Huiqin, senior stock analyst at Huatai Securities in Nanjing.
 "The weak debut is actually good for the market, as it sends
a warning for future IPOs, forcing companies to think twice
before they set sky-high IPO prices," she said. [ID:nTOE5BS036]
 Beiren Print 600860.SS bucked the market's uptrend to
become Tuesday biggest faller, losing 5.51 percent to 8.23 yuan
after saying it had abandoned a previously announced asset
restructuring and would not seek another for at least three
months.
 (Editing by Chris Lewis)
































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