CHINA plays were the gainers yesterday, buoyed by hopes that there might be more takeovers following a proposal by a third party to acquire a controlling stake in Hoi Sing Holdings. Trading in H shares was relatively active, accounting for 4.39 per cent of turnover of $1.81 billion, while small and medium-sized firms took up 29.6 per cent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index put on 3.14 points, or 0.31 per cent, against a rise of 44.82 points, or 0.53 per cent, in the Hang Seng Index. An anonymous third party is in talks with Shougang Concord Grand to buy its 36 per cent stake in construction firm Hoi Sing, which may result in a general offer for the shares and warrants of Hoi Sing. The proposed acquistion made the China play the star performer, up 17 cents or 25.4 per cent, to 84 cents. Shougang Grand also rose two cents to 97 cents and another China play, Poly Investments, surged 2.5 cents, or 9.6 per cent, to 28.5 cents. CNPC (Hong Kong) jumped 1.4 cents to 18.5 cents. H-share Yizheng Chemical Fiber, which reported good 1994 earnings growth, continued to rise, gaining five cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $2.775. Retail stocks, however, suffered selling pressure against the backdrop of a soft consumer market. The worst performer was High Fashion, which lost seven cents, or 8.5 per cent, to 75 cents. South China Industries dropped five cents, or 6.9 per cent, to finish at 67 cents. Fortei Holdings closed down four cents, or 6.7 per cent, to 55 cents, while Le Saunda Holdings fell four cents, or 5.8 per cent, to end at 64 cents. After the disposal by Regent Fund Management of its 10.1 per cent stake, China Assets shed 25 cents, or 6.7 per cent, to $3.45. After two days of recovery, paging company Champion Technology slid again, easing two cents, or 3.2 per cent, to close at 60 cents. Shaw Brothers (HK) rose $1.25, or 9.8 per cent, to $14. Its announced payout of a $6 special dividend, resulting from the sale of its interest in four property subsidiaries to its parent company Shaw Holdings, stirred buying interest.