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China shares edge up as coming IPOs start to divert funds

HONG KONG, July 23 (Reuters) - China shares finished little changed on Wednesday, a day when five companies began accepting subscriptions for initial public offerings (IPOs), diverting some funds from existing stocks.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended a choppy session up 0.1 percent at 2,078.49 points, its highest since June 16. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings inched up 0.2 percent to close at a more than three-month high.

The ChiNext Composite Index, China's Nasdaq-like board for high-growth, mainly high-tech start-up firms, was hard hit by the IPO subscriptions, sinking 2.8 percent - its biggest one-day drop in over a month.

Brokerage firms outperformed after posting or flagging good first-half profits, driven by the resumption of IPOs and expansion into more areas of business.

The two largest listed players - CITIC Securities and Haitong Securities climbed 1 and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Insurers were also index boosts. New China Life Insurance gained 4.0 percent and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China 2.1 percent.

(Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Richard Borsuk)