* SSEC flat, CSI300 +0.2 pct, HSI +0.4 pct
* China Aug industrial profit growth accelerates
* Signs of stepped-up SOE reform also support market
SHANGHAI, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Chinese and Hong Kong stocks were firm in Wednesday trade, with resources shares rebounding sharply after China’s upbeat August industrial profit data and robust earnings forecast by a major steelmaker helped ease fears of China’s economic recovery losing steam.
Investor confidence was also underpinned by signs of China’s government accelerating the restructuring of its bloated state sector, and a conviction in Beijing’s vow to safeguard market stability ahead of a Communist Party Congress next month.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.2 percent, at 3,826.35 points at the end of the morning trading session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,344.68 points.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent, to 27,635.26 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 percent to 11,041.49.
Investors took relief from data showing annual profit at China’s industrial companies rose 24 percent in August, accelerating from the previous month in an indication economic growth remains healthy despite signs of fading momentum following a robust first half-year.
Reflecting the trend, Anyang Iron & Steel Inc forecast a seven-fold jump in net profit for the first nine months, boosting its Shanghai-listed shares by 10 percent - the maximum allowed.
Meanwhile, investors also harboured hope that listed firms will benefit from stepped-up reform of state-owned enterprises in China.
The Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday that Ping An Insurance Group Co of China is in discussion with China Eastern Group regarding the latter’s plans for mixed-ownership reform.
Meanwhile, CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering said its controlling shareholder, China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), is planning to restructure assets of the listed unit, sending its Hong Kong-listed shares surging. CSSC’s China-listed shares were suspended from trading.
Resources firms, the biggest beneficiary from industry consolidation and state reform, rose sharply. In China, the CSI300 materials subindex climbed nearly 1 percent, while an index tracking the sector in Hong Kong rose 1.6 percent.
Banking shares dragged in China, with Jiangsu Changshu Rural Commercial Bank slumping more than 5 percent to a near one-year low, pressured by more equity supply as some investors come out of lock-up periods.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch