* SSEC 0.4 pct, CSI300 0.5 pct, HSI 1.6 pct
* Interest in China property shares rekindled by Financial Street
* Hong Kong stocks seen benefiting from the Shenzhen Connect
SHANGHAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Thursday morning, helped by a resurgence in real estate shares, as Financial Street become another developer, after Vanke, to be caught up in M&A-driven share surges.
Hong Kong shares maintained strong upward momentum, with investors seeking to front-run expected fresh inflows from the upcoming Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
The CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent, to 3,391.40 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent, to 3,122.16 points.
Sentiment was aided by renewed bullishness in the real estate sector, which jumped 4.7 percent, despite signs of fatigue in the home market.
China home prices rose 0.8 percent in July nationwide, but stalled or fell in more cities than in June.
Shares in Financial Street surged 10 percent daily limit, after disclosure that the acquisitive Chinese insurance group Anbang has become the developer’s second largest shareholder with a 30 percent stake. Financial Street’s parent, Beijing Financial Street Investment Group Co Ltd and its affiliates, currently hold over 31 percent in the developer.
Anbang’s share increase, which followed the high-profile bidding war around Vanke, adds to more evidence that some listed property companies are undervalued and thus have become acquisition targets.
Vanke shares jumped 4.5 percent in Shenzhen.
Most other sectors also rose, with an index tracking financials up 1.1 percent.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.6 percent, to 23,164.69 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.0 percent, to 9,741.30.
Traders say although much of the impact of the recently-announced Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect has been priced in, expectations of fresh money inflows from the mainland could still help bolster Hong Kong stocks for a some time.
Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Shri Navaratnam