* CSI300 +2.9 pct; SSEC +2.8 pct; HSI +0.7 pct
* China mutual funds raised record $48 bln in May
* Investors draw solace from PMI surveys
By Smauel Shen and Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, June 1 (Reuters) - China stocks rose sharply on Monday morning, as investors took a positive view on fresh official economic surveys and welcomed a chorus of domestic media commentary asserting the bull market has not yet ended.
The CSI300 index rose 2.9 percent, to 4,981.93 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.8 percent, to 4,739.33 points.
In Hong Kong, both the Hang Seng index and the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index were up 0.7 percent.
Growth in China’s giant factory sector edged up to a six-month high in May although export demand continued to shrink, according to the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
A similar official survey on the services sector showed activity cooled to its slowest rate in over five years, reinforcing views that authorities will have to roll out more stimulus in coming months.
“The PMI figures, both the official one and the HSBC one, were very close to the consensus view and they can be interpreted as a further normalization in the economy,” Gerry Alfonso, director of Shenwan Hongyuan Securities Co, wrote in a note.
Major state-backed newspapers, including the China Securities Journal and the Shanghai Securities News, carried front-page articles saying despite the market tumble on Thursday, the logic behind the bull market - monetary easing and economic restructuring - remain unchanged.
Last Thursday, both main indexes dropped more than 6 percent.
On Friday, China’s central bank said it wants to see a “healthy” stock market, as it will continue to expand the main board and the small-and medium boards, with plans also to set up a new board for emerging industries on the Shanghai stock exchange.
The market-friendly rhetoric emboldened investors sitting on ample cash to pile into stocks, taking advantage of relatively low valuations after Thursday’s plunge.
According to data compiled by Shanghai-based fund consultancy Z-Ben Advisors, Chinese mutual funds raised roughly 300 billion yuan ($48.42 billion) last month, 15 times more than a year earlier, making May the best month to date for the industry in terms of fundraising.
Pharmaceutical stocks surged on Monday, as investors bet some drug makers will benefit from growing concern over the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Banks were firmer on a report by Bloomberg that China’s Ministry of Finance may enlarge the existing local government debt swap program by 500 billion to one trillion yuan, potentially improving lenders’ asset quality.
But Ping An Insurance Group was flat, underperforming the broader market, after the brokerage unit of Chinese financial firm Shenwan Hongyuan Group Co Ltd said it will stop lending money to clients to buy Ping An shares.
Shares in Huatai Securities Co Ltd climbed 4 percent in their Hong Kong debut on Monday, as investors bet China’s biggest broker by trading volume would continue to benefit from a boom in the country’s stock markets. (Editing by Richard Borsuk) )