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HK shares eke out gains on HSBC strength, casinos weak

HONG KONG, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares held on to slight gains on Thursday as financials led by index heavyweight HSBC helped offset weakness in oil producers, hurt by lower crude prices.

The Hang Seng index closed up 0.1 percent at 20,907.95 while the China Enterprises index rose 0.2 percent.

With China's domestic markets shut through the week, investors resisted from making big bets, keeping exchange turnover below recent averages.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Swire Properties Ltd shares fell after the Hong Kong unit of the developer's parent agreed to sell its direct stake in the group for HK$4.88 billion ($629.2 million), helping it towards meeting a regulatory requirement.

But shares closed only 2.9 percent lower compared with the 6 percent discount to Wednesday's close at which the deal was priced, indicating strong demand for the shares.

* HSBC Holdings advanced 1.8 percent after the bank, Europe's largest lender, said its core tier 1 ratio was above the levels required by the European Banking Authority (EBA). HSBC said its core tier 1 ratio as of 30 June 2012 was 11.3 percent compared with the 9 percent level published by the EBA in its December 2011 recommendation.

* Sands China fell 3.5 percent, leading the weakness in casino stocks after Macau gambling revenues for September came in lower than expected. SJM Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment also slumped 3.5 percent.

(Reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

((vikram.subhedar@thomsonreuters.com)(+852 28436975))

Keywords: MARKETS HONGKONG CHINA STOCKS/ CLOSE