* CSI300 flat; SSEC -0.2 pct; Hong Kong shut for holiday
* Regulator approves a new batch of IPOs
* Investors snap up equity funds
By Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, April 3 (Reuters) - Chinese stocks ended Friday morning almost flat, as signs of strong money inflows erased concerns about liquidity triggered by a coming wave of new shares.
China’s securities regulator said late on Thursday it approved 30 initial public offerings (IPOs), which analysts said could lock up as much as 3.7 trillion yuan ($597.13 billion) in subscription funds over the next two weeks.
Although the latest batch of IPOs could have some short-term impact on market liquidity, many think the market’s upward trend won’t change.
Around one trillion yuan of fresh funds flowed into the stock market in the first quarter of this year, the official Securities Times reported on Friday.
There are signs more money is on the way.
In just three days, the asset management arm of Orient Securities raised over 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) in an equity-focused product that’s the biggest launched since 2012, official media reported on Friday.
And China’s wealthy investors are also snapping up equity-focused hedge funds.
Qing Shui Yuan Investment, a small Shenzhen-based hedge fund manager with only a dozen staff, raised more than 500 million yuan in just a few days last month.
“We’re seeing China’s wealthy people moving money out of real estate and fixed-income products, and into stocks,” said marketing manager Yi Zhi.
“There could be some corrections, but generally we remain optimistic.”
The CSI300 index was unchanged at 4,123.81 points at the end of Friday’s morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 3,819.96 points.
China’s ChiNext board for high-growth start-ups rose 0.4 percent to fresh highs, as investors ignored an article from the official Xinhua news agency noting its price-earnings ratio was 87.6, higher than the Nasdaq’s 80 peak when the internet bubble burst in 2000.
Investors also give muted response to a private survey on Friday showing China’s services sector expanded in March even as growth in employment and new business fell to their lowest in at least eight months.
Chinese film producer Huayi Brothers Media Corp rose 3.8 percent, hitting an 18-month high after the firm announced a deal with Hollywood studio STX Entertainment this week.
The Hong Kong stock market was closed on Friday for an extended holiday and will next trade on Wednesday, April 8. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)