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Hong Kong shares close down 0.9 pct, China Life Insurance slides

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

HONG KONG, March 12 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares slipped from a three-week high on Tuesday, hurt by a soft mainland market as weakness in China Life Insurance offset strength in the local property sector after New World Development announced plans for a spinoff listing.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.9 percent at 22,890.6. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 1.3 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings closed down 1.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.0 percent. For both, this was their fourth straight daily loss.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* China Life Insurance lost 3.2 percent after clarifying late on Monday that its chairman's comments about an improvement in profits were his opinion and should not be taken as an earnings forecast. Its Hong Kong shares were suspended on Monday.

* Shares of New World Development climbed 0.9 percent after the Hong Kong property developer said it is considering a possible spin-off and separate listing of some hospitality assets.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130312/hong-kong-shares-close-down-09-pct-china-life-insurance-slides