SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese fund managers have cut their suggested equity exposure for the next three months to the lowest level in three quarters, on caution after a robust run-up in blue-chips and as start-up tech firms reported lackluster earnings, a monthly Reuters poll showed.


The fund managers cut their suggested equity allocations to 75 percent, from 76.3 percent a month earlier, according to a poll of eight China-based fund managers conducted this week.


The fund managers have, meanwhile, trimmed their suggested bond allocations for the coming three months to 10 percent from 10.6 percent a month ago.


They have boosted recommended cash allocations to 15 percent for the next three months, from 13.1 percent in the previous month.


"It's difficult to predict the trend in blue-chips with solid growth and fundamentals after their strong gains in the past year," a South China-based fund manager said, adding that fund managers remained cautious towards start-ups as heavyweights among them reported lackluster mid-year earnings.


The divergence between mainboard shares and start-up companies could continue to intensify, after the start-up board index ChiNext hit a 2-1/2-year low in mid-July, a Shanghai-based fund manager said.

The fund managers surveyed held mixed views on asset allocations for the next month, with five suggesting the same level of equity exposure, two suggesting increase, while one recommended slashing.

Average recommended allocations to metals shares jumped to 7.6 percent from 2.5 percent, and allocations to financial service firms edged up to 15.8 percent from 15 percent, while allocations to electronics and technology stocks were reduced to 22.1 percent from 25 percent, according to the poll.

A rise in the prices of metals helped boost optimism for mining firms.

"The value investing strategy that attaches more importance to valuations and fundamentals could continue to dominate among market participants," another Shanghai-based fund manager said.

The South China-based fund manager mentioned above recommended cyclical and infrastructure firms, including cement producers, coal miners and non-ferrous metals producers.

(Reporting by David Lin, Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)