* HSI +0.3 pct, H-shares -0.5 pct, CSI300 -1.5 pct
* Everbright Securities private placement stokes IPO jitters
* AgBank, Bank of China slip ahead of 2012 earnings
* China property unfazed by Guangdong curb details
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, March 26 China shares suffered their
biggest loss in more than a week on Tuesday after Everbright
Securities obtained approval for a private share placement,
stoking fears of a new wave of stock-offerings by brokerages.
Earnings-driven strength in the Hong Kong property sector
helped the Hang Seng Index reverse slim midday losses to
end up 0.3 percent. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.5 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
listings sank 1.5 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index
was off 1.3 percent. For both, Tuesday was their
heaviest loss since March 18.
Everbright sank 2.6 percent in Shanghai after
the China Securities Regulatory Commission approved plans for it
to raise up to 8 billion yuan ($1.29 billion) in the mainland to
boost the company's core capital, IFR reported.
"The fear is that Everbright's private placement is the
first of many fundraising attempts, which could inevitably
involve a public offering," said a Shanghai-based trader with a
major Chinese brokerage.
Losses for Everbright on Tuesday took its shares to the
lowest in a week. Haitong Securities fell
4.3 percent in Shanghai and 0.7 percent in Hong Kong ahead of
2012 corporate earnings.
Shares of Haitong are down 15.5 percent in Hong Kong in
2013, compared with a 4.5 percent slide for the China
In the last 30 days, two of 16 analysts who follow Haitong
have downgraded their earnings-per-share estimates by an average
of 32 percent, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
In 2012, China's 114 brokerages together earned less than
Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs did, and the combined
profit for the Chinese firms was down 16 percent from a year
earlier, industry data showed in mid-January.
CHINA EARNINGS, POLICY IN FOCUS
Corporate earnings remained a big focus on Tuesday, with at
least 38 Hong Kong-listed companies due to report final 2012
results. Of the 58 percent of companies that had already
reported in Hong Kong, over half have missed expectations,
according to StarMine.
Hong Kong property developer Henderson Land jumped
5.5 percent after its 2012 results impressed, while a fall in
shares of Wharf Holdings was reversed after its
earnings came out at midday.
The two lifted Hong Kong property peers. Cheung Kong
Holdings rose 2.3 percent ahead of its own results
after market close on Tuesday. It reported 2012 net profit of
HK$32.2 billion ($4.15 billion), trumping expectations for
Markets were also hurt by a report in the official China
Securities Journal that Chinese banks have restricted the pace
and scale of lending to the property sector as part of greater
governmental risk controls.
Mid-sized lender Minsheng Bank dived 4.6 percent
in Shanghai, hurt also by chatter of possible tightening after
the Chinese central bank drained 32 billion yuan from the money
In Hong Kong, Agricultural Bank of China (AgBank)
slipped 0.8 percent, while Bank of China
was down 0.3 percent ahead of their 2012
After markets closed, AgBank, the country's No.3 lender,
reported a 19 percent rise in net profit, missing analyst
estimates, as the central bank's interest rate cuts sliced loan
Bank of China, the country's No.4 lender, said on Tuesday
its 2012 net profit rose 12.2 percent, beating analyst
estimates, as wider margins from lending to smaller businesses
helped offset a slowdown in foreign operations.
The Chinese property sector was relatively unfazed as
Guangdong became the first province to release a plan for
localised real estate curbs. The central government had
announced guidelines for local-government curbs on March 1.
China Vanke ended a choppy day down 0.2 percent
in Shenzhen. It has now retraced almost a third of its 10
percent tumble on March 4 when markets first reacted to the
Beijing announcement, but has been range-bound since.
Vanke is still up 9.9 percent on the year, compared to the
2.1 percent gain for the CSI300 index.
A problem with Guangdong's announcement is that it "didn't
read any different from what Beijing prescribed at the start of
March, but there are a few more days left to the end-March
deadline for local governments to announce their curb
customisation," said Lee Wee-Liat, head of Asia property
research at BNP Paribas.
($1 = 7.7618 Hong Kong dollars)($1 = 6.2107 Chinese yuan)