* HSI -0.3 pct, H-shares +0.2 pct, China shut for holiday
* Chinese insurers lead gains among H-shares
* Tencent drops ahead of FTSE China Index change (Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark index slipped on Monday, hurt by falls for heavyweight stocks, while keen investor interest in Chinese companies helped the H-share index rise.
In the morning, China’s August trade data pushed down both the Hang Seng Index and the one for top Chinese listings in Hong Kong, but those losses were erased.
Exports rose more than forecast while imports unexpectedly fell, pushing the trade surplus to a record high for the second consecutive month, underlining the challenges facing policymakers as they struggle to revive tepid domestic demand.
At midday, the Hang Seng was down 0.3 percent at 25,161.41 points. The China Enterprises Index was up 0.2 percent.
China markets are shut on Monday for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hong Kong will be closed on Tuesday for the same holiday.
“Some reshuffling in portfolios is taking place,” said Alex Wong, director of asset management at Ample Finance Group in Hong Kong. “People are selling some local blue-chips while increasing their exposure in the China sector... due to the renewed strength in the A-share market.”
China’s benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite Index , closed at its highest in nearly 1-1/2 years on Friday.
AIA Group slid 1.3 percent and HSBC Holdings plc lost 0.7 percent.
Biggest drag Tencent Holdings fell the most in more than three weeks, down 2.0 percent, weighed by the upcoming listing of Alibaba IPO-BABA.N and changes in the FTSE China Index.
From Sept. 22, the FTSE China 25 Index, consisting of 25 of the largest and most liquid Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, will increase its constituent stocks to 50. That means the weighting of Tencent, the biggest constituent, will come down and some funds will cut holdings of the stock accordingly, analysts said.
Chinese insurers, recent outperformers, extended gains on Monday. PICC GROUP and New China Life Insurance climbed 2.3 percent and China Life Insurance added 1.3 percent.
China Business News, quoting the country’s top insurance regulator, reported on Friday that China’s premium income would reach 5.1 trillion yuan ($830.62 billion) by 2020. (1 US dollar = 6.1400 Chinese yuan) (Editing by Richard Borsuk)