* CSI300 -0.1 pct; SSEC +0.2 pct; HSI +0.4 pct
* ChiNext at record high; Hong Kong’s GEM keeps rising
* Margin financing in Shanghai tops 1 trln yuan for 1st time
By Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, April 2 (Reuters) - China stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, as investors shifted their interest toward growth stocks from blue chips.
But sentiment remained upbeat on news that Beijing is expanding the investment scope of country’s 1.2 trillion yuan ($194 billion) social security fund.
The fund, which backs China’s pension system, will be allowed to buy more local government debt, investment trusts and shares in state-owned companies, the Chinese government said late on Wednesday.
Analysts said the move is expected to channel more money into the stock market, and help reduce financial risks accumulated in massive local government borrowings.
“A bullish stock market can help accelerate the pace of asset securitisation and solve many problems including local government debt issues,” said Chen Zhizhong, a Shenzhen-based analyst at China Merchants Securities.
“China’s current bull run is fuelled by a high level of leverage, but the government is likely to be tolerant.”
On Wednesday, outstanding margin financing, or the amount of money investors borrow to buy stocks, exceeded 1 trillion yuan in Shanghai for the first time.
The CSI300 index was down 0.1 percent, to 4,121.78 points, at the end of the morning session while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent, to 3,817.60 points.
ChiNext, the Nasdaq-style board for growth companies, jumped over 2 percent to fresh highs, unfettered by concerns over lofty valuations.
The Hang Seng index was up 0.4 percent at midday, while the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) continued to climb, jumping 2.4 percent on expectations of interest from mainland investors will increase.
China has recently encouraged mainland mutual funds to buy Hong Kong shares and also expanded Chinese insurers’ investment scope, allowing them to buy GEM stocks.
“We see growing enthusiasm toward Hong Kong’s small cap stocks,” said Chen of China Merchants. “The need for a change in market investment style coincides with Beijing’s policy support.”
China’s Internet stocks surged after China’s state council, or cabinet, promised late on Wednesday to boost e-commerce, including through cutting red tape and liberalizing investment rules.
China’s clean technology and new energy stocks also rose sharply, after Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection, told a conference on Wednesday scientists have identified vehicles as being the biggest polluters in major cities.
Wu’s remarks fuelled hopes of fresh policies to promote new energy vehicles and green technology. (Editing by Richard Borsuk) )