HONG KONG, March 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares could start
higher on Thursday, ahead of an HSBC preliminary survey of
Chinese manufacturing activity in March that could give clues on
the recovery of the world's second-largest economy.
China Resources Enterprise, China Unicom
, Foxconn International, Kunlun Energy
, Li & Fung, Great Wall Motor and
Petrochina are among the companies expected to post
their final 2012 corporate earnings.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 1 percent at 22,256.4
on Wednesday. The China Enterprises Index of the top
Chinese listings in Hong Kong jumped 2.2 percent. For both, it
was their first gain in four days.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.3
percent, while South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.2 percent at
FACTORS TO WATCH:
* China imposed long-debated stringent fuel economy
standards on Wednesday, making life tougher for cash-strapped
small domestic brands that are already struggling amid a
slowdown of the world's biggest auto market.
* Tencent Holdings, China's largest online gaming
and social networking company, will heavily invest in its
popular Weixin mobile chatting application to attract more
overseas users, the company said on Wednesday. Tencent posted a
36.5 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit from a year ago,
meeting analysts' expectations.
* China Telecom Corp Ltd, the country's
third-largest mobile phone carrier, has set capital expenditure
for 2013 at 75 billion yuan ($12 billion), a 3.3 percent
increase from the previous year.
* Quality, not quantity: that's the advice investors would
like global supply chain manager Li & Fung Ltd to heed
as it snaps up little-known brands to fuel growth in a business
environment where more retailers source goods on their own.
* Vale SA , the world's No. 2
mining company, is set to resume shipments on a number of coal
contracts from Mozambique after heavy rain forced it to halt
shipments on Feb. 15, according to a securities filing on
* The London Metal Exchange, which was bought last year for
$2.2 billion by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx)
, has appointed Deputy Chief Executive Diarmuid
O'Hegarty as chief operating officer, it said in a notice to its
members on Wednesday.
* Chinese gold miner Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd
said on Wednesday it had agreed to set up
an offshore investment fund with Canada-listed Sprott Inc
with a target size of $500 million.
* Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp, the
Philippine unit of Macau gaming company Melco Crown
Entertainment, plans to raise $400 million through an
offering of 1.2 billion shares, Thomson Reuters IFR reported on
* China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, parent of
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, said on Wednesday it
will not make a final bid for a stake in Fisker Automotive Inc
as it is not in line with its strategic considerations.
* Mass market ladies' footwear distributor Daphne
International Holdings Ltd said its net profit for
2012 rose 2.4 percent to HK$955.7 million. It anticipates its
same store sales for the first quarter of 2013 to be comparable
to a year ago due to a high base effect, while expecting a
pick-up in consumer demand in subsequent quarters when
government stimulus for domestic consumption take effect later
in the year.